Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

US admiral: North Korea's actions 'recipe for disaster

Moon also said North Korea's nuclear and missile capabilities seemed to have advanced rapidly recently but that South Korea was ready and capable of striking back in the event of an attack.

The special envoy dispatched by South Korea's new President Moon Jae-In said in Tokyo that Seoul wants regular summits and improved relations, which have been hindered by the memory of Japan's harsh colonial rule of the Korean peninsula from 1910-1945.

Washington, she said, would consider talks with Pyongyang only if the country halted all nuclear and ballistic missile tests.

"We all have to send a sign to North Korea, and that is 'No more".

"President Moon said he hopes I'd also pass on his gratitude to you for your message of congratulation and the telephone call after he was elected", Mr Lee said before reporters were asked to leave the room.

Haley said the Security Council is going to send a strong and unified message to North Korea that "the worldwide community wants to support you but as long as you test, and as long as you continue your nuclear program, you are on an island by yourself".

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Three of the North's five nuclear tests have taken place during Xi's administration, a huge irritant to the Chinese leader, and Kim's government seemingly ignores any warnings. It was a point that was also made by Nikki Haley, the USA envoy to the United Nations.

"Though we're now at the stage of pressure and sanctions, he said he has a willingness to make peace through the so-called engagement if certain conditions are right. We will make sure that everyone knows who you are and we will target those sanctions towards you as well", she told reporters, flanked by the United Nations ambassadors to Japan and South Korea. North Korea said that the test was a legitimate defense against threats from a hostile US.

The bad news is that North Korea would always be able to use a missile like the Hwasong-12 as a shorter-range strike system in a pinch if needed by "lofting", i.e., firing the missile at a sharp angle to reduce its range, as it does during testing.

Lee's trip comes at a time when the ties between the two countries have been impacted by the deployment in South Korea of the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, anti-missile system over Beijing's objections.

This undated picture released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) via KNS on March 7, 2017 shows the launch of four ballistic missiles by the Korean People's Army (KPA) during a military drill at an undisclosed location in North Korea. He said the launch had been detected by the US THAAD anti-missile system. "Fourth, to achieve these goals, South Korea and the United States will pursue drastic and practical joint approaches".

A special envoy representing Moon is due to visit China on Thursday for talks on THAAD and the overall bilateral relationship. It may be hard for Moon to go counter to USA desires.

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