Thursday, 19 April, 2018

North Korea in threat to South's former president Park Geun-Hye

Trump growing frustrated with China weighs trade steps North Korea in threat to South's former president Park Geun-Hye
Sammy Stanley | 29 June, 2017, 09:13

The THAAD deployment was agreed to by President Moon's conservative predecessor, Park Geun-hye. Moon, a liberal who took office in May, has expressed a desire to reach out to North Korea, but its continuing missile tests pose a hard challenge for him.

State media claims the plot was meant to be carried out on April 15, the birthday of North Korea's founding President Kim Il Sung and the date of a major annual military parade in Pyongyang. That prospect appears to be receding as Trump grows frustrated over Beijing's level of economic pressure on the North, its wayward ally.

North Korea's unprecedented pace of nuclear and ballistic missile tests has prompted China, which handles 90 per cent of North Korea's trade, to start squeezing Pyongyang.

The White House official said that Trump wants to have frank discussions on trade. "He made a comment the other day about, you know, the engagement that he would eventually seek with North Korea, being very similar to what President Trump has talked about", he said.

On the face of it, there's little in common between the brash American-tycoon-turned-populist-president, and a former human rights lawyer who received an elite education but opted for grassroots activism. Analysts say the high altitude missile defense system would be essentially ineffective against a massive North Korea artillery attack that could target 25 million people living in Seoul and other areas in near the border.

Moon's first stop in Washington will be to honor Marines who fought in the Korean War.

The memorial commemorates a courageous rearguard action by Marines during that bitter winter as Chinese troops advanced. Moon was born two years later in the South.

Tillerson urges nations to negotiate to resolve Qatar crisis
Tillerson said that "a productive next step would be for each of the countries to sit together and continue this conversation". Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt have cut ties with Qatar on terrorism funding charges.

The U.S. military already has installed key components of the anti-missile battery in Seongju, but Moon suspended the process with four launchers left in limbo pending a full environmental assessment.

Some administration officials are pushing for the White House to announce punitive measures on steel imports even before a meeting of the Group of 20 nations in Hamburg, Germany, early next month.

- "The North Korean regime is causing tremendous problems, and it is something that has to be dealt with and probably dealt with rapidly".

Pyongyang has test-fired more than a dozen missiles since Trump took office on January 20 following an unprecedented spate of activity in 2016 that included two underground nuclear explosions.

Last weekend, Moon suggested having a unified Korean team for the Winter Olympics due to be held in South Korea next year. It is the fastest one-on-one meeting between a Korean president and his or her US counterpart. The official insisted on anonymity in order to brief reporters on planning for the visit. It dispatched two US aircraft carriers to the Korean peninsula in April, a move unseen in the last 20 years.

While South Korean President Moon Jae-in remains adamant that sanctions alone will not curb North Korea's nuclear program, his failed attempts to re-establish a dialogue with Pyongyang have stirred concerns in the U.S. Seoul's previous government supported the deployment despite local opposition and Chinese objections.

Marking the occasion of the 67th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War on June 25, North Korea's official mouthpiece published an editorial in which it stated that its "nuclear deterrent is not any matter for negotiation", and demanding that the USA and South Korea "must give up their foolish ambitions for the North's abandonment of nuclear capabilities".

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