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North Korea wants to mend relations with South Korea – but also to continue nuclear military development

North Korea seeks easing tensions, but vows to advance nuclear power  Nikkei Asian Review, 16 Feb 18, BEIJING (Kyodo) — North Korea called on South Korea on Friday to abandon its joint military drills with the United States to improve inter-Korean ties further, while reiterating its eagerness to advance its nuclear capacity to make the country a military power.

 Uriminzokkiri, North Korea’s propaganda website, said U.S.-South Korea joint exercises, which have been postponed while the Winter Olympics and Paralympics are under way in the South, “should be ended forever.”

“To mend relations between the north and the south and to make a breakthrough toward the unification, military tensions should be reduced as a matter of first priority,” it said in its editorial published on the 76th anniversary of former leader Kim Jong Il’s birth.

Pyongyang has been steadfastly opposed to the annual joint military drills, describing them as preparations for invasion.

The official newspaper of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party, meanwhile, said in an editorial Friday that Pyongyang has become a nuclear power thanks to earnest efforts by Kim Jong Il, father of the current leader Kim Jong Un.

“We have to boost our prestige as the world’s strongest nuclear nation,” the Rodong Sinmun, North Korea’s most influential newspaper, said, indicating Pyongyang is still intending to develop nuclear weapons despite a thaw with the South.

Relations between the two Koreas are apparently improving after North Korea decided to join the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, which began late last week. Through high-level delegates including his sister, Kim Jong Un has invited South Korean President Moon Jae In to visit Pyongyang for a summit.

Washington and Seoul have agreed to suspend their joint military drills until the March 18 end of the Paralympics, to which North Korea has pledged to send its athletes.

Pyongyang, however, has so far shown no sign of giving up its missile and nuclear development programs despite facing U.N. sanctions that ban it from developing or testing nuclear and ballistic missile technology…….



February 17, 2018 - Posted by | North Korea, politics international

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