ibusinesslines.com
ibusinesslines.com May 24, 2017


South Korea wants to reopen communications with the North

20 May 2017, 04:03 | Erica Roy

A Tomahawk missile

A Tomahawk missile

Relations between Beijing and Seoul, strained by disagreement over South Korea's hosting of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, have taken on a more conciliatrory tone with the election earlier this month of President Moon Jae-in.

Moon, who took office on Wednesday, favours engagement with the North - whose key diplomatic backer is China - to bring it to the negotiating table over its nuclear and missile ambitions.

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.

South Korea's Ministry of Unification (MOU) on Friday said it's "not desirable" for the government to comment on the KCNA editorial.

Communications were severed by the North past year, Lee said, in the wake of new sanctions following North Korea's fifth nuclear test and Pyongyang's decision to shut down a joint industrial zone operated inside the North.

The two Koreas - technically still at war after the 1950-53 conflict ended only with a ceasefire - have occasionally clashed along the border. The North defends its weapons programs as necessary to counter USA hostility and regularly threatens to destroy the United States.


Moon's envoy to China, former prime minister Lee Hae-chan, left for Beijing on Thursday with a letter from Moon to deliver to China President Xi Jinping.

A member of Hong's delegation, who requested anonymity, also quoted Tillerson as saying that the USA meant it when it said it seeks no regime change, no invasion of the North and it will guarantee the North's system.

China has suggested to visiting South Korean envoys it is willing to work towards easing retaliation for Seoul's decision to deploy THAAD missile defense.

South Korea can not pursue dialogue and confrontation with Pyongyang simultaneously, the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said on Friday.

President Donald Trump is looking to both China and Russian Federation, the two permanent members on the Security Council that have historically been most sympathetic to North Korea, to join the USA -backed campaign of diplomatic and economic pressure on the North to get it to denuclearize.

The UN Security Council "strongly condemned the most recent ballistic missile launches" conducted by North Korea on April 28 and May 13, the 15-nation UN body said in a statement. The news comes as tensions have spiked on the Koreanpeninsula over Pyongyang's test launch of a ballistic missile, with Washington saying the country's weapons development should be treated "with a sense of urgency".



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