Trump willing to use engagement on North Korea crisis: South Korea envoy

Owen Stevens
May 20, 2017

The U.S. will not engage in talks with North Korea until it ceases its nuclear and missile tests, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said, in comments quoted by a South Korean special presidential envoy on Thursday afternoon Washington DC time.

With a new president in South Korea, debates will continue about how Seoul can convince China to use its leverage on Pyongyang to get it to freeze its nuclear weapons program.

North Korea on Sunday launched the Hwasong-12, the projectile that has shown the best performance so far aside from its space rockets, in what the global community suspects to have been a covert missiles test.

Observers remained sceptical when Pyongyang claimed the missile can carry a heavy nuclear warhead.

Admiral Harry Harris Jr, who is in charge of the United States Pacific Command based in Hawaii, said on Wednesday (17 May) that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was inching closer to developing a nuclear warhead capable of striking any country.

Even though plans for the U.S. missile defense system on the Korean Peninsula have been slammed by China and Russian Federation which deem it detrimental to their security, Chinese state media and North Korea's official news agency have recently been engaged in a war of words.

A top US Navy commander on Wednesday pushed for a "sense of urgency" over North Korea's nuclear and missile development, stressing it even threatens Pyongyang's allies China and Russian Federation. It is not a crisis, but it is a slap in the face to Moon as well as every other government that hopes to get North Korea to act in accordance with worldwide rules and the wishes of the rest of the world.

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.

Haley reiterated that Washington's doors are open for dialogue, but only under the strict condition that the North changes its behavior.

"We all have to send a sign to North Korea, and that is 'No more".

Later in the song, they refer to South Korea, saying, "this time, kid, you're going too far" and "your big brother's annoyed", a nod to China's view of itself as the pre-eminent political and economic power in northeast Asia.

KCNA said Kim accused the United States of "browbeating" countries that "have no nukes", warning Washington not to misjudge the reality that its mainland is in the North's "sighting range for strike".

Speaking to Lee, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said there had been some "undeserved setbacks" in relations this year, in apparent reference to THAAD.

On Tuesday, Pottinger and Chung agreed to work toward a summit meeting in late June, said Moon's spokesman, Yoon Young-chan.

In a separate meeting with Lee on Friday, China's top diplomat Yang Jiechi said China "hopes that South Korea can respect China's major concerns (and) appropriately resolve the THAAD issue", Xinhua reported.

Other reports by VgToday

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