January 20, 2019

Seoul says it wants to reopen communication with North

30 May 2017, 07:10 | Rhonda Young

North Korea is known to be developing both nuclear weapons - it has conducted five nuclear tests - and the missiles capable of delivering those weapons to their target.

The reclusive North, which has defied all calls to rein in its weapons programmes, even from its lone major ally, China, has been working on a missile, mounted with a nuclear warhead, capable of striking the USA mainland.

This is the first time Trump has met with a South Korean official since taking office.

Han Min-koo told South Korea's parliament that Sunday's test had been detected by the controversial U.S. THAAD anti-missile system, which was deployed in South Korea last month, infuriating China. "There is no reason for North Korea to be having these actions outside of the fact they just choose to do so".

A unification ministry spokesman in Seoul said Wednesday that the lines haven't technically been cut, but North Korean officials have not responded to near daily calls from their counterparts in the South.

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.

North Korea said it was a test of its capability to carry a "large-size heavy nuclear warhead", drawing Security Council condemnation. She said Washington will continue military exercises with South Korea.

"The reality is that there is a high possibility of a military conflict at the NLL (Northern Limit Line) and military demarcation line", South Korean President Moon Jae-in said, according to Reuters.

"If you are supporting North Korea, you are against the rest of the worldwide community", Haley said.

Defences are also being built up to protect against a potential USA air raid as North Korea prepares for a war.

Residents of North Korea's capital, Pyongyang, expressed pride Monday about their country's launch of a new longer-range missile reportedly capable of carrying a nuclear bomb.

"You either support North Korea or you support us, because that's what it comes down to", Haley told reporters.

Speaking to reporters ahead of a closed-door U.N. Security Council meeting, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley also made clear that Washington would only talk to North Korea once it halted its nuclear program.

In its previous missile launch at the end of April, North Korea's regime suffered a second failure in a row with its latest ballistic missile test attempt amid continuing tensions with the US and South Korea.

Defense experts say that North Korea's Taepodong missile resembles Iran's Shahab missile.

North Korea's successful test of a relatively short-range missile appears to have been a concerted effort by the nation, according to analysts, to continue to improve its missile technology without somehow provoking a United States military attack.

"If you are a country that is supplying or supporting North Korea, we will call you out on it", Haley said.

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