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SOUTH KOREA POLITICS: North Korea Nuclear Arsenal too Developed to Destroy Quickly, Says Moon

SOUTH KOREA POLITICS: North Korea Nuclear Arsenal too Developed to Destroy Quickly, Says Moon

Speaking to reporters in the Philippines, Moon said that if North Korea agreed to hold talks, negotiations could be held with all options open.

“If talks begin to resolve the North Korea nuclear issue, I feel it will be realistically difficult for North Korea to completely destroy its nuclear capabilities when their nuclear and missile arsenal are at a developed stage,” Moon said in a briefing.

“If so, North Korea’s nuclear programme should be suspended, and negotiations could go on to pursue complete denuclearisation.”

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NORTH KOREA POLITICS: How to Bring Change in North Korea: Defector Thae Yong Ho Reveals

NORTH KOREA POLITICS: How to Bring Change in North Korea: Defector Thae Yong Ho Reveals

Thae, 55, who now lives in South Korea, is making his first visit to Washington since his 2016 defection as deputy chief of mission at the North Korean Embassy in London.

He said he supported the Trump administration’s policy of exerting “maximum pressure” on Pyongyang, but said it should be coupled with “maximum engagement” of North Korea’s leadership and efforts to end the isolation of the country’s 24 million people.

“I strongly believe in the use of soft power before taking any military action,” said Thae, the most senior North Korean defector since the nation’s ambassador to Egypt fled and resettled in the United States in 1997.

North Korea has called Thae “human scum” and accused him of embezzling government money and committing other crimes.

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SOUTH KOREA POLITICS: North Korea as Nuclear State Unacceptable: Moon Jae-in Says

SOUTH KOREA POLITICS: North Korea as Nuclear State Unacceptable: Moon Jae-in Says

“According to the joint denuclearization declaration made by North and South Korea, we cannot tolerate or recognize North Korea as a nuclear state. We too, will not develop nuclear (weapons) or own them,” President Moon Jae-in said.

“Our government was launched in the most serious of times in terms of security. The government is making efforts to stably manage the situation it faces as well as to bring about peace on the Korean peninsula.”

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CHINA POLITICS: Beijing, South Korea Agree to Reconcile After THAAD Standoff

CHINA POLITICS: Beijing, South Korea Agree to Reconcile After THAAD Standoff

South Korea recognized China’s concerns over THAAD and made it clear the deployment was not aimed at any third country and did not harm China’s strategic security interests, China’s foreign ministry said.

China reiterated its opposition to the deployment of THAAD, but noted South Korea’s position and hoped South Korea could appropriately handle the issue, it added.

“China’s position on the THAAD issue is clear, consistent and has not changed,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily briefing in Beijing.

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NORTH KOREA POLITICS: Pyongyang Not Ready to Meet With South Korea in Russia: Agencies

NORTH KOREA POLITICS: Pyongyang Not Ready to Meet With South Korea in Russia: Agencies

Politicians from North Korea and South Korea will not hold direct talks in Russia on Monday about Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile program despite attending the same event and being urged to do so by Moscow, Russian news agencies said on

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: North Korea Just Sent Chilling Threat to Australia for Joining US, South Korea

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: North Korea Just Sent Chilling Threat to Australia for Joining US, South Korea

“Should Australia continue to follow the US in imposing military, economic and diplomatic pressure upon the DPRK despite our repeated warnings, they will not be able to avoid a disaster,” Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) warned.

The warning comes after Ms Bishop pledged solidarity with South Korea in the face of the North’s ongoing nuclear threat.

“We stand united with (South Korea) against the provocative and threatening behaviour of North Korea,” Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told reporters.

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SOUTH KOREA POLITICS: Most South Koreans Favor Diplomacy Over Military in Dealing With North Korea

SOUTH KOREA POLITICS: Most South Koreans Favor Diplomacy Over Military in Dealing With North Korea

“They understand better than we that the North Korean regime is bluffing, this regime has always been bluffing,” the expert said, “This is a mature attitude from the people [of the country] neighboring [North Korea], who are living just a few dozen kilometers from the threat.”

For its part, Russia which has 17 kilometers (11 mi) of terrestrial frontier and 22.1 km (12 nautical miles) of maritime border with North Korea warned against the further aggravation of situation in the region.

“As for the Korean Peninsula, of course, Moscow has been calling and continues to call on all parties to the conflict and parties that have relation to these affairs to show restraint and avoid any steps that could only aggravate the situation,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday.

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SOUTH KOREA POLITICS: South Korea Ready to Deploy ‘Blackout Bombs’ to Paralyse North Korea’s Electrical Grid

SOUTH KOREA POLITICS: South Korea Ready to Deploy ‘Blackout Bombs’ to Paralyse North Korea’s Electrical Grid

Graphite bombs (blackout bombs) worked well against targets in Iraq, knocking out around 85 percent of the electrical supply across the country. NATO used similar weapons against targets in Serbia in May 1999, damaging around 70 percent of the country’s electrical supply.

Analysts believe the weapons would work well against targets in North Korea, which are likely to be obsolete and not insulated.

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NORTH KOREA POLITICS: North Korean Missiles Spotted Moved From Rocket Facility in Pyongyang: KBS Reports

NORTH KOREA POLITICS: North Korean Missiles Spotted Moved From Rocket Facility in Pyongyang: KBS Reports

The missiles could be either intermediate range Hwasong-12 or intercontinental ballistic Hwasong-14 missiles, according to the report, though the missile facility at Sanum-dong has been dedicated to the production of intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Amid heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula, South Korea and U.S. forces recently held their first joint short range air defense training exercise in South Korea, according to a statement released by the U.S. Pacific Command on Friday.

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SOUTH KOREA POLITICS: ‘October’ North Korea Will Be More Provocative: South Korea Says

SOUTH KOREA POLITICS: ‘October’ North Korea Will Be More Provocative: South Korea Says

China, North Korea’s main ally, would likely be extremely unhappy if Pyongyang tested a missile or carried out some other act during its Communist Party Congress, held once every five years.

Park said President Moon told the meeting that Washington and Seoul agreed that pressure needed to be applied to North Korea, with the door to talks still open.

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NORTH KOREA POLITICS: Defiant Pyongyang Vows ‘Practical Equilibrium With US’

NORTH KOREA POLITICS: Defiant Pyongyang Vows ‘Practical Equilibrium With US’

In its first official reaction to the sanctions resolution adopted by the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday, North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that the sanctions would only strengthen the country’s resolve to pursue its nuclear weapons program “at a faster pace without the slightest diversion.”

North Korea remained defiant saying it would “redouble the efforts to increase its strength to safeguard the country’s sovereignty and right to existence” and establish “practical equilibrium with the U.S.”

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SOUTH KOREA POLITICS: Most South Koreans Don’t Expect War With North: Poll Shows

SOUTH KOREA POLITICS: Most South Koreans Don’t Expect War With North: Poll Shows

The survey found that 58 percent of those questioned felt there was no possibility North Korea would cause a war, while only 37 percent thought it could. In 2007, 51 percent of respondents said they expected a war, while 45 percent did not.

Trump has repeatedly said all options are on the table in dealing with North Korea and on Thursday said he would prefer not to use military action, but if he did, it would be a “very sad day” for North Korea.

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NORTH KOREA POLITICS: Pyongyang Successfully Tested Advanced H-Bomb

NORTH KOREA POLITICS: Pyongyang Successfully Tested Advanced H-Bomb

North Korea said in an announcement on state television that a hydrogen bomb test ordered by leader Kim Jong Un was a “perfect success” and a “meaningful” step in completing the country’s nuclear weapons programmes.

“All components of the H-bomb were homemade and all the processes … were put on the Juche basis, thus enabling the country to produce powerful nuclear weapons as many as it wants,” KCNA quoted Kim Jong Un In as saying.

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SOUTH KOREA POLITICS: ‘Overwhelming Force’: South Korea Conducts Bombing Drill in Response to North Korea Missile Test

SOUTH KOREA POLITICS: ‘Overwhelming Force’: South Korea Conducts Bombing Drill in Response to North Korea Missile Test

South Korean president Moon Jae-in’s chief press secretary, Yoon Young-chan, said the bombing drill was ordered immediately after the National Security Council meeting convened to discuss possible counter measures Seoul could take against Pyongyang’s ballistic missile provocation.

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WORLD POLITICS: North Korea, US Clash at UN Forum Over Nuclear Weapons

WORLD POLITICS: North Korea, US Clash at UN Forum Over Nuclear Weapons

North Korea’s envoy told the same forum the North’s nuclear deterrent would never be up for negotiation, echoing Pyongyang’s regular denunciation of U.S. “aggression”.

“The measures taken by the DPRK to strengthen its nuclear deterrence and develop inter-continental rockets is justifiable and a legitimate option for self-defence in the face of such apparent and real threats,” diplomat Ju Yong Chol told the forum, referring to “constant nuclear threats” by the United States.

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SOUTH KOREA POLITICS: US, South Korea Begin Computer-Simulated Drills Which North Korea Says Aimed at Nuclear War

SOUTH KOREA POLITICS: US, South Korea Begin Computer-Simulated Drills Which North Korea Says Aimed at Nuclear War

North Korea views such exercises as preparations for invasion and has fired missiles and taken other actions to show its anger over military drills in the past. North Korea and South Korea are technically still at war after the 1950-53 Korean War ended with a truce, not a peace treaty.

“This is aimed to ignite a nuclear war on the Korean peninsula at any cost. The situation on the Korean peninsula has plunged into a critical phase due to the reckless north-targeted war racket of the war maniacs.,” the North’s KCNA news agency said.

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CHINA POLITICS: Beijing Will Prevent US, South Korea From Carrying Out Strikes on North Korea – Government Daily

CHINA POLITICS: Beijing Will Prevent US, South Korea From Carrying Out Strikes on North Korea – Government Daily

The widely-quoted newspaper, published by the Communist Party’s official People’s Daily cautioned: “If the US and its ally South Korea take on Pyongyang and try to “overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so.”

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NORTH KOREA POLITICS: Pyongyang Rejects UN Sanctions, Vows ‘Righteous Action’

NORTH KOREA POLITICS: Pyongyang Rejects UN Sanctions, Vows ‘Righteous Action’

North Korea has been conducting nuclear and ballistic missile tests despite warnings issued and sanctions imposed by the international community. “We will not put our self-defensive nuclear deterrent on the negotiating table” while it faced threats from Washington, it said, “and will never take a single step back from strengthening our nuclear might”.

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SOUTH KOREA POLITICS: South Korea, US Agree to Apply Maximum Pressure North Korea While China Hopes for Talks

SOUTH KOREA POLITICS: South Korea, US Agree to Apply Maximum Pressure North Korea While China Hopes for Talks

“The best signal that North Korea can give us that they are prepared to talk would be to stop these missile launches,” said Tillerson, adding that “other means of communications” were open to Pyongyang.

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ASIA POLITICS: ‘Ready to Use Force’: US Supersonic Bombers, Japan, South Korea Fighters Fly Over Korean Peninsula

ASIA POLITICS: ‘Ready to Use Force’: US Supersonic Bombers, Japan, South Korea Fighters Fly Over Korean Peninsula

“North Korea remains the most urgent threat to regional stability,” Pacific Air Forces Commander General Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy said, as cited by AP.

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