Trump willing to try engagement with N.Korea, on conditions - Seoul

Frederick Owens
May 20, 2017

US Ambassador Nikki Haley said the United States was working with China, the North's main ally, on a new sanctions resolution and warned that all countries must step up action against North Korea or face measures themselves.

South Korea said on Wednesday it wanted to reopen communications with North Korea as new President Moon Jae-in seeks a two-track policy involving sanctions and dialogue with its reclusive neighbour to rein in its nuclear and missile programmes.

The two Koreas - technically still at war after the 1950-53 conflict ended only with a ceasefire instead of a peace treaty - have occasionally clashed along the border. The North has ignored calls to curb its weapons programs, defending them as necessary to counter USA hostility, Aljazeera reported.

On last Sunday, May 14, North Korea tested the Hwasong-12 the longest range missile it has ever tested and was claimed to be capable of carrying a "heavy nuclear warhead".

"The ministry has been reviewing ways to restore it", Lee Duk-haeng, ministry spokesman, told a regular press briefing, Yonhap reported. "The Unification Ministry has considered options on this internally, but nothing has been decided yet", said Lee.

Pyongyang carried out two atomic tests previous year, and has accelerated its missile launch programme, despite tough United Nations sanctions aimed at denying leader Kim Jong-un the hard currency needed to fund his weapons ambitions.

North Korea's deputy U.N. ambassador on Friday rejected allegations of Pyongyang's involvement in the global "ransomware" cyberattack, accusing the United States of incriminating the regime whenever something bad happens.

Moon has criticized the United States's local deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system, which passed its first major test when detecting the North's latest missile launch.

"If you are a country that is supplying or supporting North Korea, we will call you out on it", Haley said.

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Those conditions do not provide much incentive for the North Koreans to try and have talks with the US. "He also said he looks forward to working closely with President Moon in resolving the North Korean nuclear issue so as to attain results", Hong told reporters after the meeting.

The growing threats from the North prompted Seoul to recently deploy a powerful USA anti-missile system despite angry opposition by China that sees it as a threat to its own military capability.

Its latest ballistic missile firing was also the first one to be detected by the THAAD, the advanced USA missile defense system, which is already operational in South Korea, and can intercept ballistic missiles launched by the regime of Kim Jong-un.

South Korea has complained that some of is companies doing business in China have faced discrimination in retaliation for the system's deployment.

Selfies, coffee and a jacket were all that new South Korean President Moon Jae-in needed to powerfully project an image that he's a down-to-earth leader.

"We need to return to dialogue with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, stop intimidating it and find ways to solve these problems peacefully".

Defense experts say that North Korea's Taepodong missile resembles Iran's Shahab missile.

North Korea, on various occasions, has announced that it seeks to develop a nuclear-capable ballistic missile with the ability to strike the United States mainland.

Trump, however, stressed during a 15-minute meeting with special envoy Hong Seok-hyun that he won't hold talks with the North for the sake of talks, the envoy said.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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