S.Korea, Japan to Resume Shuttle Diplomacy

Cesar Mills
May 19, 2017

President Moon Jae-in who during campaign questioned the procedure of hurried installation of THAAD and promised more engaging policy toward North Korea in line with China's hopes sent high-profile envoy Lee Hae-chan, former prime minister and seve-term lawmaker of the ruling Democratic Party, to Beijing.

The North defends its weapons programmes as necessary to counter U.S. hostility and regularly threatens to destroy the United States.

Outsiders saw a significant technological jump in the weekend test, with the rocket apparently flying higher and for a longer time than any other such previous missile.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley put the American position in forceful terms on Tuesday: "We have to turn around and tell the entire global community: You either support North Korea or you support us".

They were believed to have held talks on prospects for containing North Korea's missile and nuclear weapons activities as well as the economic fallout over the deployment in South Korea of the US missile defense system called THAAD. The threat from Pyongyang presents US President Donald Trump with one of his greatest security challenges.

On the Chinese internet, patriotic citizens posted calls for boycotts of South Korean goods and even staged performative displays of destroying make-up and other popular products, generating approving columns in Chinese state media. "South Korea defense posture" against North Korea to "suppress war", Newsis reported. Joseph Bermudez Jr. an analyst at the USA firm Allsource Analysis said to the Wall Street Journal: "What's more concerning is not an individual test or two individual tests, it's that they're approaching their missile development in a very pragmatic way". If North Korea cooperates the United States could possibly support reduction in sanctions.

In the statement released by a spokesman for the government-backed Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee (KAPPC), Pyongyang said on Thursday that Seoul had "behaved indecently", referring to a National Security Council (NSC) meeting presided by Moon and the government's condemnation of the test.

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"Measures for bolstering self-defense capabilities is not an issue which can be stopped or slowed down when the USA administration is replaced and the regime is changed in South Korea". "North Korea's nuclear and missile threats have rapidly developed as of recent, and they are now a reality".

Kishida said Japan's position was that South Korea should implement the agreement steadily.

In Seoul, some citizens expressed frustration. "Having a missile test is not the way to sit down with the president, because he's absolutely not going to do it", she told ABC.

That suggests a range of 4,500 kilometres (2,800 miles) or more if flown for maximum distance, analysts said.

In Washington, a USA defence official said the missile fired on Sunday appeared to be a liquid-fuelled KN-17, marking what seemed to be the most successful launch of such a device.

The missile traveled nearly 800 km and may have exceeded 4,000 km if it had been launched at a more perpendicular angle, according to experts.

The launch came as troops from the U.S., Japan and two European nations gather near Guam for drills that are partly a message to North Korea. The USS Carl Vinson, an aircraft carrier, is also engaging with South Korean navy ships in waters off the Korean Peninsula, according to Seoul's Defense Ministry.

Other reports by GizPress

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