Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

China calls on US, North Korea to end nuclear standoff

China calls on US, North Korea to end nuclear standoff

They were expected to discuss ways of containing North Korea's missile and nuclear weapons activities as well as the economic fallout over the deployment in South Korea of the USA missile defense system called THAAD.

The threat to expand sanctions is the latest response from the US following a North Korean ballistic missile test this past weekend.

"The reality is that there is a high possibility of a military conflict at the NLL [Northern Limit Line] and military demarcation line", Moon was quoted as saying by the presidential Blue House, referring to the de facto maritime and land boundaries between North and South.

North Korea, also known as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), has vowed to develop a missile mounted with a nuclear warhead that can strike the mainland United States, saying the programme is necessary to counter USA aggression.

"You either support North Korea or you support us, because that's what it comes down to", Haley said at a news conference.

The North did not report the victory of the South's previous president Lee Myung-Bak at all.

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As well as clouding efforts to rein in North Korea's nuclear ambitions, the THAAD deployment has also led to recriminations from Beijing against South Korean companies. During the meeting, Trump expressed hope for working closely together with Moon to strengthen the alliance and resolve the North Korean nuclear issue, Hong said.

But, Kim said that if the Trump administration "truly wants to adopt a new policy towards the DPRK, drawing a lesson from the preceding administration's failure, it should replace the Armistice Agreement between the DPRK and United States with a peace accord and the total removal of hostile relations".

On Friday, he plans to meet with leading academics and experts on Korea-US relations. The special envoy added he conveyed Moon's gratitude for the United States' continuous consideration of South Korea's security as well as thanks for President Trump's invitation to an early bilateral summit to be held next month.

Moon is a liberal who advocates a more conciliatory approach to North Korea compared with his conservative predecessor.

"The thought of placing cyanide in the hands of the North Koreans, considering their record on human rights, political prisoners, and assassinations is not only unsafe but defies common sense", Haley said in a statement.

He said North Korea "probably learned a lot" from last weekend's test.

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