North Korea links nuclear advances to hostile US policy

Bruno Cirelli
Mag 20, 2017

The comments came hours after the South, which hosts 28,500 USA troops, said it wanted to reopen a channel of dialogue with North Korea as Moon seeks a two-track policy, involving sanctions and dialogue, to try to rein in its neighbor.

North Korea will never abandon its "nuclear deterrence for self- defence and pre-emptive strike capability" even if the USA ratchets up sanctions and pressure "to the utmost", Kim said.

It conducted its latest ballistic missile launch, in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions, on Sunday which it said was a test of its capability to carry a "large-size heavy nuclear warhead", drawing Security Council condemnation.

"The reality is that there is a high possibility of a military conflict at the NLL (Northern Limit Line) and military demarcation line", Moon told the daily.

"The U.S. should mind that the DPRK nuclear striking capability will be strengthened and developed at a rapidly high speed as long as the U.S. insists (on) its anti-DPRK policy, nasty nuclear threats and blackmails, sanction and pressure", Kim said. Moon Jae-in has said dialogue and pressure must be used to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula and stop the North's weapons pursuit.

According to state media thousands of people took to the streets of Pyongyang in colourful and traditional clothes, to welcome back the scientists and workers behind the test at the weekend.

McMaster made the remark when special envoy Hong Seok-hyun told him that there is a controversy over South Korea's procedure leading to the decision to host THAAD and there is a need to discuss the issue in the National Assembly, the envoy told reporters. A U.S. State Department spokesman said the United States remains open to talks with North Korea but the country would have to "cease all its illegal activities and aggressive behavior in the region".

President Donald Trump is looking to both China and Russian Federation, the two permanent members on the Security Council that have historically been most sympathetic to North Korea, to join the USA -backed campaign of diplomatic and economic pressure on the North to get it to denuclearize.

China has strongly opposed THAAD, saying it can spy into its territory, and South Korean companies have been hit in China by a nationalist backlash over the deployment.

Kim accused the council of playing "to the tune of the US again" and protested the Trump administration's demand for countries to choose allegiance between the United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, his country's official name.

"If this goes to a military solution it is going to be tragic on an unbelievable scale, and so our effort is to work with the United Nations, work with China, work with Japan, work with South Korea to try to find a way out of this situation", Mattis said at a news conference.

Trump has called for an immediate halt to North Korea's missile and nuclear tests and U.S. Disarmament Ambassador Robert Wood said on Tuesday that China's leverage was key and Beijing could do more. At the end of April, the USS Carl Vinson nuclear aircraft carrier task group arrived in the waters off the Korean Peninsula for a separate joint naval exercise with South Korea. Harris insisted that dealing with the threat of a nuclear North Korea was not just a regional or a US problem (given that the USA bears the brunt of much of North Korea's bellicose language), but a world problem.

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