22 March 2018

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05/17/2017 KOREA

Moon Jae-in in favour of dialogue with Kim Jong-un

South Korea’s new president differs from Donald Trump, who wants tighter sanctions. Seoul does not want to pay for the US THAAD anti-missile radar system. Since the latter can monitor Chinese territory, China has imposed economic sanctions on South Korean companies.

Seoul (AsiaNews/Agencies) – South Korea said that it wants to renew the dialogue with North Korea over the nuclear issue.

“Our most basic stance is that communication lines between South and North Korea should open,” Lee Duk-haeng, a spokesman for the South’s Unification Ministry, told reporters.

Communications were severed last year ago in the wake of new sanctions following North Korea’s last nuclear test and its decision to shut down a joint North-South industrial zone operated inside the North.

South Korea has not given up pressures to stop North Korea's weapons programme, and does not intend to pay for the US High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) anti-missile system. US President Donald Trump has said that he wants South Korea to pay for it.

China has strongly opposed THAAD, saying it can spy into its territory, and has sanctioned South Korean companies over the deployment.

The position of Democratic President Moon Jae-in, a Catholic, is consistent with the commitments he made during the electoral campaign in favour of a more moderate approach to the North than that of his predecessor.

With respect to Kim Jong-un, Moon Jae-in said he wants a two-track involving possible sanctions and dialogue.

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

Pyongyang’s latest ballistic missile launch, in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions, took place on Sunday. The test, which was to evaluate its capability of carrying a “large-size heavy nuclear warhead”, drew Security Council condemnation.

Speaking to reporters ahead of a closed-door UN Security Council meeting, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the US and China have been working on “a unified plan” on how to approach North Korea that would include tougher new sanctions.

She indicated that Washington and Beijing had agreed to take action if a new test looked to be long range and leaning toward an intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach the United States.

The latest launch appeared to fulfil both criteria, Haley said, “so I believe that China will stay true to that and that we’ll come together on how we’re going to do that.”

“This is a true threat to every country in the world. . . . We’re going to make sure we put the pressure on them [North Korea] economically, diplomatically, politically and internationally.”

Asked about comments made by Russian President Vladimir Putin in Beijing on Monday who called North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests “unacceptable” but also said the United States should stop intimidating Pyongyang, Haley said that Putin and others who have made similar comments should ask themselves: “What about North Korea intimidating us? They’re intimidating the entire international community.”

For Moon Jae-in, this confrontation can only be solved through renewed dialogue with South Korea playing the role of mediator.

See also

16/04/2012 KOREA
Kim Jong-un speaks (for the first time), greets South Koreans
The young dictator speaks at the centennial celebration of his grandfather's birth. He follows up his "greetings to our compatriots in South Korea and across the world who dedicate themselves to reunification and the prosperity of the nations" with the usual militaristic propaganda, adding however that North Koreans will "never again tighten their belts".

29/02/2008 NORTH KOREA
Clapton invitation means Kim Jong-il has chosen his heir
Kim Jong-chul is the chosen one. First son from the Dear Leader’s fourth marriage, he is said to love the music of the American guitar player. Since last year he is deputy chairman of a leadership division of the Korean Workers' Party, the same post his father had before taking over.

15/04/2011 NORTH KOREA
Kim Jong-un staking succession on the ‘Day of the Sun’
Kim Jong-il’s third son is the heir designate to the throne of Pyongyang, but has not yet received the official investiture, which he desperately needs. After sponsoring real estate developments, he is betting his future on following in the footsteps of his grandfather Kim Il-sung, whose birthday today it is, in order to convince the people that he is different from his father and that he can save them from destruction.

14/02/2017 19:02:00 KOREA
Kim Jong-un’s half-brother Kim Jong-nam murdered

Two North Korean female agents apparently poisoned the victim at Kuala Lumpur airport. He was living in exile since 2001. Heir apparent to Kim Jong-il, he hoped to see the fall of Kim Jong-un’s regime with him as successor. The case appears to be another dynastic murder.

13/10/2010 NORTH KOREA – CHINA
Beijing to protect Kim Jong-il’s first-born
Kim Jong-nam, the deal leader’s first son, fell from grade in 2001 and now lives in Macau. In recent days, he criticised the regime’s dynastic succession, causing the ire of his brother Kim Jong-un, official heir to North Korea’s dictator.

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