Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

United States will tighten screws on N Korea: Haley

United States will tighten screws on N Korea: Haley

Haley said a plan is still in the works between the US, Japan, South Korea and China - North Korea's only major ostensible ally - to halt North Korea's progress on nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

Moon made his comments hours after South Korea, which hosts 28,500 USA troops, said it wanted to reopen a channel of dialogue with North Korea as Moon seeks a two-track policy, involving sanctions and talks, to try to rein in its neighbor.

North Korea claimed that the test proved that it had developed a missile with the capability to carry a "large-size heavy nuclear warhead".

"Every test he makes. takes North Korea one step closer to being able to deliver a nuclear-tipped missile anywhere in the world".

North Korea has repeatedly said it would not abandon its missile and nuclear programs unless the United States ended its hostility toward the country.

If this is terrifying, then the condition of USA allies who are North Korea's neighbors are at bigger risk.

Sunday's missile was deliberately fired at the highest angle to avoid affecting neighbouring countries' security. The North also said that it has the capability to deliver a strong "retaliatory strike", and that all US targets in the Pacific were 'in its sights'.

"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 yesterday. "The Unification Ministry has considered options on this internally but nothing has been decided yet", Mr Lee said.

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Though US President Donald Trump has expressed a willingness to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un under unspecified circumstances, after the test US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said that such behavior "is not the way to sit down" with Trump.

North Korea conducted two nuclear tests previous year which are likely to have improved its know-how in making nuclear weapons small enough to fit on long-range missiles.

"We need to return to dialogue with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, stop intimidating it and find ways to solve these problems peacefully", Putin was quoted as saying, using North Korea's official name.

Also high on the agenda for the special envoy, Lee Hae-chan, was a prolonged row between Seoul and Beijing over the deployment of the USA missile defense system THAAD in South Korea, officials from Seoul's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae noted.

Footage from North Korea's missile launch on Sunday was blasted across the country's state-run national television sites.

Russian Federation and China have opposed the THAAD deployment, calling on the all parties to find a peaceful solution to the hazardous situation in the region.

"Until the USA and its followers make the right choice, we will further produce sophisticated and diversified nuclear weapons and striking means and push to prepare for necessary tests", Yonhap cites North Korean diplomat Pak Jong-hak as saying.

Mr Trump has warned that a "major, major conflict" with North Korea was possible, and sent the Carl Vinson aircraft carrier strike group to Korean waters for drills with South Korea and Japan.

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