South Korea's Moon says 'high possibility' of conflict with North

Pauline Gross
May 19, 2017

Moon won an election last week campaigning on a more moderate approach to the North and said after taking office that he wants to pursue dialogue as well as pressure to stop the North's weapons programmes.

Haley said a plan is still in the works between the US, Japan, South Korea and China - North Korea's only major ostensible ally - to halt North Korea's progress on nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. "The ministry has been reviewing ways to restore it", Lee Duk-haeng, ministry spokesman, told a regular press briefing, Yonhap reported. "The United States reconfirmed its firm commitment to defend South Korea and both sides also agreed to strengthen collaborative efforts to deter North Korean provocations". After Sunday's launch, Pyongyang gleefully hailed significant advances in developing a nuclear missile capable of reaching the United States mainland.

Apart from reiterating its commitment to comply with all restrictive measures imposed on North Korea under previous resolutions, the Council hinted it might look at the possibility to tighten the grip on the state's economy, which is already suffering under a heavy burden of global sanctions.

Wang expounded on China's position on the deployment of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system, urging the ROK to correctly deal with China's major and reasonable concern.

"Currently, (the South Korean military) is unable to have real-time access to the detection data of the THAAD radar because the system to share real-time data with the USFK is still under construction", a defense official said on condition of anonymity.

As I discussed yesterday, the missile North Korea tested on Sunday was a new type of intermediate-range ballistic missile, based on an indigenously developed high-thrust liquid fuel rocket engine.

Tensions have been rising on the Korean Peninsula, with Washington sending warships to the region and conducting war games with its allies in attempt to deter Pyongyang from conducting more nuclear and missile tests.

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North Korea has repeatedly requested that an worldwide forum of legal experts be established by the United Nations to clarify the legal basis for the UN sanctions.

Kim said North Korea would stage more nuclear and missile tests in order to ideal nuclear bombs needed to deal with U.S.

Council diplomats, speaking on a condition of anonymity because the consultations were private, said China never mentioned working with the U.S. on a new sanction resolution, and both China and Russian Federation said they supported a negotiated solution through dialogue. "There is no reason for North Korea to be having these actions outside of the fact they just choose to do so".

Cathcart said "things are certainly fraught in a way that is worrisome, if not indicative of a wholesale shift in Beijing", but he added that the opaque nature of politics in the two neighboring authoritarian regimes meant reading the tea leaves was always hard.

"Combining nuclear warheads with ballistic technology in the hands of a volatile leader like Kim Jong-un is a recipe for a disaster", Harris said.

Sunday's missile launch was the seventh such firing this year.

Other reports by GizPress

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