Donald Trump willing to try engagement with North Korea, on conditions: Seoul

Ebony Scott
May 21, 2017

"North Korea seems to be very aware of the USA attack on Syria", Jiro Ishimaru of Asia Press said, adding that the media outlet's North Korean source clearly said "preparations against cruise missiles".

Moon's envoy to the US, South Korean media mogul Hong Seok-hyun, left for Washington early on Wednesday.

Trump has said "a major, major conflict" with North Korea is possible and all options are on the table but that he wanted to resolve the crisis diplomatically, possibly through the extended use of economic sanctions.

Hong Seok-hyun, South Korean President Moon Jae-in's special emissary to the US, traveled to the White House on Wednesday to meet with President Trump, where they held a discussion lasting for around ten minutes.

Shortly before he departed the White House, President Barack Obama warned his successor that North Korea would soon be the United States' most risky strategic problem.

North Korea has made no secret of the fact that it is working to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of striking the United States mainland and has ignored calls to rein in its nuclear and missile programmes, even from China, its lone major ally.

Three of the North's five nuclear tests have taken place during Xi's administration, a huge irritant to the Chinese leader, and Kim's government seemingly ignores any warnings.

It has caused controversy around the world, but in North Korea the developers of its latest missile have reportedly been given a hero's welcome on their return.

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Hong also spoke briefly with national security advisor H.R. McMaster on the issue of the deployment of a THAAD missile defense battery in South Korea, before he met with President Trump.

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.

In Beijing, Lee said Moon may have his first face-to-face talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Group of 20 conference in July in Hamburg, Germany.

"We believe South Korea will bring clear measures to improve relations", Wang said.

He also said the North's nuclear and missile capabilities seem to have advanced rapidly recently but that the South was ready and capable of striking back should the North attack.

Moon said he also delivered the president's desire for future-oriented ties and a resumption of "shuttle diplomacy" between the two leaders.

Moon received a lengthy congratulatory phone call from Xi, and his envoys were warmly received at China's biggest foreign policy event of the year, the One Belt, One Road forum in Beijing last week. Sogang University economist Cho Yoon-jae departed for Brussels earlier in the day as the representative to the European Union and Germany, while other envoys to Russian Federation and the Vatican are expected to begin their journeys shortly.

Other reports by GizPress

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