SKorea's Moon warns high chance of clashes with North

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 19, 2017

Hong Seok-hyeon, the special envoy to the U.S., lays a wreath at the Korean War Veterans Memorial, May 17.

South Korean Unification Ministry spokesman Lee Duk-haeng told reporters the government's most basic stance is that communication lines between South and North Korea should reopen.

Abe also struck a conciliatory note, saying: "With the new president, I wish to build future-oriented Japan-South Korea relations".

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said the United States was working with China on a new sanctions resolution and warned that all countries must step up action against North Korea or face measures themselves.

As reported, the ban kicked in on 15 March, part of a sweeping backlash against Korean companies prompted by South Korea's decision to deploy the United States anti-missile system THAAD. South Korean businesses operating in China were also hit.

State media claimed that the Hwasong-12, successfully tested last Sunday, was a new type of ballistic missile, one which can carry a heavy nuclear warhead.

But a senior North Korean diplomat has said Pyongyang was open to having talks with Washington under the right conditions. The system was deployed earlier this month, days before South Korea elected Moon Jae-in, who had been critical of the system, its new president.

Moon Hee-sang said that both countries share a practical interest in dealing with issues pertaining to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

The two leaders could hold their first face-to-face talks in July on the margins of a summit of Group of 20 major economies in Germany.

In the song, group members chant that "about THAAD we say no, no, no", a reference to the U.S. Army's missile defense system formally known as Terminal High Altitude Area Defense.

China's foreign minister urged South Korea's new government on Thursday to remove "obstacles" to good relations amid Chinese anger at the USA deployment of an anti-missile system on the Korean peninsula.

The prime minister also called for Korea's faithful implementation of the 2015 bilateral agreement to resolve the issue of Japan's wartime sexual slavery, as it "is an agreement between the two countries".

On Thursday, Hong, a former newspaper president who served as South Korea's ambassador to the USA in 2005, visited Congress for a series of meetings with senators and congressmen who have played key roles in enhancing relations between the two countries. China sees THAAD as a threat to the regional security balance.

"China is willing to make efforts with all sides, including South Korea, to take even more practical efforts and uphold resolving the nuclear issue on the peninsula via dialogue", the ministry cited Wang as saying. China, which is never comfortable with coercive diplomacy (except in pursuit of its own national interests, such as isolating Taiwan), will use any call by the Moon government as a reason to give diplomacy a chance. His envoy for Russian Federation will leave next week.

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