China welcomes U.S. saying it’s open to talks on North Korea

UNTV News   •   April 27, 2017   •   2796


North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un watches a military drill marking the 85th anniversary of the establishment of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) in this handout photo by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) made available on April 26, 2017. KCNA/Handout via REUTERS

China on Thursday welcomed an apparently softer tone by the United States on the North Korean nuclear and missile crisis but stressed its opposition to a U.S. missile defense system being deployed in South Korea.

China has long promoted dialogue to resolve the “Korean nuclear issue” as North Korea has repeatedly threatened to destroy the United States which in turn has warned that “all options are on the table” in ending North Korean provocations.

The Trump administration said on Wednesday it aimed to push North Korea into dismantling its nuclear and missile programs, which are in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions, through tougher international sanctions and diplomatic pressure.

“The United States seeks stability and the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. We remain open to negotiations toward that goal. However, we remain prepared to defend ourselves and our allies,” it said in a statement.

Asked about the U.S. comments, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said China had noted that many U.S. officials had recently made such remarks.

“We have noted these expressions, and have noted the message conveyed in these expressions hoping to resolve the Korean nuclear issue peacefully through dialogue and consultation,” he said.

“We believe this message is positive and should be affirmed.”

South Korea and the United States agreed on Thursday on “swift punitive measures” against North Korea in the event of further provocation. The South also said the deployment of a U.S. anti-missile defense system was moving ahead effectively a day after angry protests against the battery and fierce opposition from China.

South Korea on Wednesday moved parts of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to its deployment site on a golf course about 250 km (155 miles) south of the capital, Seoul, signaling a faster installation of the system.

Several hundred South Korean villagers protested near the site, hurling water bottles at vehicles moving the parts in.

CHINA AGAIN DENOUNCES THAAD

The top U.S. Commander in the Pacific, Admiral Harry Harris, said on Wednesday the THAAD system would be operational “in coming days” bolstering the ability to defend the U.S. ally and the 28,500 U.S. troops stationed there.

A photograph taken of the site showed a THAAD interceptor on the back of a mobile launcher erected and pointed skywards on green lawn as a military transport helicopter hovered nearby.

China says the system’s advanced radar can penetrate deep into its territory and undermine its security. It is adamant in its opposition.

“The deployment of the THAAD anti-missile system in South Korea damages the regional strategic balance and stability. The Chinese side is resolutely opposed to this,” Defence Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun told reporters.

“China’s military will continue to carry out live-fire military exercises and test new military equipment in order to firmly safeguard national security and regional peace and stability.”

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats described North Korea on Wednesday as “an urgent national security threat and top foreign policy priority”.

The U.S. signal of a willingness to exhaust non-military avenues came as the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier group approached Korean waters, where it will join the USS Michigan nuclear submarine.

North Korea, which conducted its biggest ever artillery exercise to mark the 85th anniversary of its military’s creation on Tuesday, says it needs to develop weapons to defend itself from U.S. aggression.

A North Korean official speaking on CNN said the country would not be influenced by outside events.

“As long as America continues its hostile acts of aggression, we will never stop nuclear and missile tests,” said Sok Chol Won, director of the North’s Institute of Human Rights at the Academy of Social Sciences.

Moon Jae-in, the front-runner in South Korea’s May 9 presidential election, has called for a delay in THAAD deployment, saying a decision should be made after gathering public opinion and more talks with Washington. — By Michael Martina and Ju-min Park | BEIJING/SEOUL

(Additional reporting by Phil Stewart in WASHINGTON and Ben Blanchard in BEIJING; Writing by Jack Kim and Nick Macfie; Editing by Robert Birsel)

DFA calls on North Korea to comply with int’l obligations after ballistic missile launch

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 31, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Following the ballistic missile launch of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on March 25, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has reiterated its call for the country to comply with international laws.

The Foreign Department, in a statement on Friday (March 31), expressed concern over DPRK’s latest ballistic missile launch saying the actions undermine regional peace and stability, not only in the Korean Peninsula, but also in the entire region.

The department said the DPRK should abide by the obligation under the resolutions set by the United Nations Security Council.

Two missiles were launched by North Korea into the sea near Japan on Thursday (March 25). AAC

Pyongyang disinfects the city after North Korea introduced tougher curbs against coronavirus

UNTV News   •   July 29, 2020

North Korea’s state-run television on Tuesday (July 28) released a video of Pyongyang workers disinfecting the city as the state introduced tougher curbs against the coronavirus, after it locked down the town Kaesong, on the border with the South, to tackle what could be its first publicly confirmed infection.

Strict quarantine measures and the screening of districts were in progress and test kits, protective clothing and medical equipment were being supplied, the North’s KCNA state news agency said.

The measures come after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared an emergency on Sunday (July 26) after a person who defected to South Korea three years ago returned across the highly fortified demilitarised zone (DMZ) to Kaesong this month with symptoms of COVID-19, KCNA reported.

Reclusive North Korea had reported testing 1,211 people for the virus as of July 16 with all returning negative results, the World Health Organisation said in a statement sent to Reuters. The report said 696 nationals were under quarantine. (Reuters)

(Production: Minwoo Park)

North Korea’s Kim says there will be no more war thanks to nuclear weapons

UNTV News   •   July 28, 2020

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has said there will be no more war as the country’s nuclear weapons guarantee its safety and future despite unabated outside pressure and military threats, state media reported on Tuesday (July 28).

Kim made the remarks as he celebrated the 67th anniversary of the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, which fell on July 27, with a reception for veterans, the North’s state-run television KRT said.

The country developed nuclear weapons to win “absolute strength” to stave off another armed conflict, Kim said in a speech carried by state media, emphasizing the defensive nature of the programs.

The speech came amid stalled talks aimed at dismantling Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs in exchange for sanctions relief from Washington.

Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump met for the first time in 2018 in Singapore, raising hopes for a negotiated end to North Korea’s nuclear threats. But their second summit, in 2019 in Vietnam, and subsequent working-level meetings fell apart. (Reuters)

(Production: Minwoo Park)

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