Thursday, 14 November, 2019

North Korean diplomat open to USA talks 'under the right conditions'

Christy Curtis | 15 May, 2017, 02:37

Choe Son-hui, director-general of the North America affairs bureau of the North Korean foreign ministry, told reporters at the Beijing Capital International Airport that North Korea "will hold dialogue under right conditions" with the new US administration.

Given how close the missile came to Vladivostok, the White House's statement following Sunday's launch unsurprisingly referenced Russian Federation. But just days after his inauguration, the North tested yet another missile.

The Italian leader said that "it's a serious problem for global stability and security, and I'm convinced that the upcoming G-7, in friendship, will contribute to resolving this issue". The Trump administration has called the tests unacceptable and has swung between threats of military action and offers to talk.

It's the latest in a series of tests by Pyongyang as it pursues a nuclear-tipped missile that can reach the US mainland. U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed not to let that happen.

He said South Korea will respond to provocations.

At the same time, the US Pacific Command said that it had detected and tracked the North Korean missile launch, but there was no confirmation that it was an intercontinental ballistic missile.

North Korea has conducted seven previous launches since the beginning of the year, though the most recent - on April 29 - was a failure, according to South Korean and US officials.

The White House has applied more pressure on Beijing in recent weeks to take a harder stand with the regime of Kim Jong Un to curb his ballistic missile and nuclear programs.

According to Japanese officials, the North Korean missile traveled for about 30 minutes, reaching an altitude of more than 1,200 miles.

The latest "provocation" should serve as a call for all nations to implement far stronger sanctions against the North, the White House said.

Syrian Kurds clear mines after taking town, dam from IS
The Turkish leader vowed to table the issue during next week visit to Washington. Like Turkey, the USA considers that group a terrorist organization.

The latest test was the North's first launch since a U.S. missile defense system that has been deployed in the South became operational on May 2, and comes shortly after a failed ballistic missile test on April 29. Japanese Defence Minister Tomomi Inada said the missile could be of a new type.

"The missile launch didn't pose any threat to the Russian Federation".

He pointed to worsening relations between Beijing and Pyongyang as the US has increased pressure on China to act to reign in North Korea's nuclear program.

The U.N. Security Council will hold urgent consultations on North Korea's latest test, at the request of the United States, Japan and South Korea. "China opposes relevant launch activities by North Korea that are contrary to Security Council resolutions", China's foreign ministry said in a statement.

The sixty-four-year old leftist liberal wants to adopt a softer approach towards North Korea.

"If the missile reached a maximum altitude of 2,000 km, chances are high that it is a long-range missile", Chang Young-keun, a missile expert at Korea Aerospace University, told Yonhap News Agency. But she said more analysis was needed. "Even if dialogue is possible, we should show the North that it's possible only if Pyongyang change (sic) its course and attitude".

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said North Korea's firing of a ballistic missile was a violation of United Nations resolutions and that Japan strongly protested the action.

"North Korea's repeated missile launches are a grave threat to our country and a clear violation of UN resolutions", Abe told reporters, adding Japan will stay in close touch with the United States and South Korea. A previous test at the same site in February sent a missile 500 kilometres, far less than Sunday's launch.

The escalating tensions came the day after a top North Korean diplomat said Pyongyang would be willing to meet with the Trump administration for negotiations "if the conditions are set".

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