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South Korean President Moon says that Kim Jong Un sincerely wants to abandon nuclear weapons

North Korea leader sincere, must be rewarded for move to abandon nuclear weapons: South Korean president, 15 Oct 18, PARIS (Reuters) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is sincere and really means to abandon nuclear weapons, South Korean President Moon Jae-in told a French newspaper, adding that the international community needed to reward him for that.

……..“This year I have discussed in depth with Kim for hours. These meetings have convinced me that he has taken the strategic decision to abandon his nuclear weapon,” Moon told Le Figaro in an interview before a state visit to Paris.    Moon is to meet President Emmanuel Macron on Monday.

……Moon said he hoped another Trump-Kim summit would allow the two leaders to go further than the statements they made at their first meeting in Singapore.

“Declaring an end to the Korea war would be a start to establishing a regime of peace,” he said, also calling for the United States to take “reliable corresponding measures to guarantee the security of the regime”.

“We could also in the future discuss the easing of sanctions, in accordance with progress on denuclearization,” he added. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-southkorea-northkorea/north-korea-leader-sincere-must-be-rewarded-for-move-to-abandon-nuclear-weapons-south-korean-president-idUSKCN1MO0SG?il=0

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October 15, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics, South Korea | Leave a comment

Nuclear safety should be the first priority in the Korean Peninsula

First, cooperate on nuclear safety in the Korean Peninsula, The Hill, 

Absent since the restart of dialogue with North Korea is any discussion on inter-Korean nuclear safety cooperation, despite concerns over possible safety risks at the North Korean nuclear complex. Inattention to the facility could have dire consequences for the peninsula: radioactive fallout does not recognize borders.

For example, because of its inability to acquire civil nuclear technology from abroad, North Korea might try to develop its own power reactor from a variation of outdated Soviet designs such as the RBMK-1000 type that resulted in the most catastrophic man-made disaster in history, the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident. On the other hand, the possible dismantlement of nuclear facilities such as the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, which contains hazardous material and radioactive elements, could contaminate the surrounding environment and expose North Korean workers if there is improper clean-up.

In addition, as the operator of several fuel cycle facilities, North Korean leaders and experts no doubt would be interested in learning more about Japan’s costly lessons with nuclear safety. Despite having sophisticated industrial capability and arguably high nuclear safety standards, Japan has experienced deadly accidents in fuel cycle facilities — most notably the accident at a fuel fabrication plant in Tokaimura in September 1999, when the mishandling of enriched uranium led to the death of two workers from acute radiation exposure, and permanent injury of another. The accident, attributed to poor safety culture and inadequate regulatory oversight, exposed 436 people to radiation.

Without strict safety practices and adequate protection, North Korea might experience a similar scenario. Furthermore, the country has issues related to emergency response and communication in the event of a nuclear accident because of the secretive nature of its nuclear program. In particular, because North Korea terminated all cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 2009, it would be difficult for outsiders to learn about any incident and provide support, if necessary. It is equally difficult for North Koreans to improve their safety culture and standards without an adequate, transparent working environment.

Why make nuclear safety an early priority in the high-level diplomatic process with North Korea? The number, pervasiveness and close-to-the-border locations of nuclear facilitates in North Korea are reasons enough.

The significant role of nuclear energy in electricity generation in South Korea, where 24 nuclear power units contribute almost 30 percent of the electricity production, means South Korean experts would have much to share.

Indeed, South Korea has had to overcome its own safety problems, such as the cover-up of a plant blackout at the Kori-1 nuclear power unit in 2012, and the revelation of falsified test results for safety-grade equipment in the same year. Scientists and engineers from these two countries should be enabled to cooperate on nuclear safety by sharing information about their safety practices.

Besides, communication platforms have existed for this kind of engineering diplomacy. Striving for the middle-power status in the region, South Korea has proposed several initiatives aimed at regional integration among Northeast Asian countries; thus, the issue of nuclear safety in North Korea would be a perfect opportunity for Moon to promote a nuclear safety initiative for bilateral cooperation of nuclear safety professionals from the two Koreas. …….. https://thehill.com/opinion/international/409750-first-cooperate-on-nuclear-safety-in-the-korean-peninsula

October 11, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, safety, South Korea | Leave a comment

North Korea is not really making any big nuclear concession

Why North Korea’s latest nuclear concession isn’t one at all
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wants you to believe North Korea just gave up something big. It didn’t.
Vox By Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday that he and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made “significant progress” over the weekend toward dismantling Pyongyang’s nuclear program. The problem is it’s not clear what advancement he’s pointing to.

The two met for a nearly three-hour summit in Pyongyang on Sunday to discuss a way to break the impasse in discussions. Speaking after the meeting on Monday, Pompeo told reporters that North Korea has agreed to let international inspectors visit Punggye-ri, the site of all six of North Korea’s nuclear tests. In September 2017, Pyongyang tested a nuke there that was around seven times stronger than the bomb America dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.

Letting inspectors visit the facility may sound well and good, except for one thing: It’s already been destroyed.

North Korea blew up that facility in May. And although the country’s leaders had originally invited international inspectors to witness the demolition, they changed their minds and said they would only allow a small group of foreign journalists to watch. CNN, for example, could only watch the destruction from about 1,600 feet away.

Letting inspectors in now to verify that the site is, in fact, destroyed is certainly a welcome step. After all, North Korea has been reluctant for years to let outsiders into its nuclear facilities and question officials at the sites. And while it’s unclear how much access the inspectors will get, it’s understandable that Pompeo is touting this as a victory……….

A second Trump-Kim summit may be on the horizon

The US and North Korea remain in a stalemate over how to dismantle Pyongyang’s nuclear program.

Washington wants Pyongyang to destroy much of its nuclear arsenal upfront and offer an inventory list of all parts of its program. Kim’s regime, meanwhile, wants President Donald Trump to sign a peace declaration — a nonbinding document that would formally end the Korean War — before Pyongyang makes any concessions.

Experts are split on whether that’s a good idea. Those who want the US to sign the agreement say it’s costless because it’s nonbinding, and therefore America has nothing to lose and everything to gain by signing it………https://www.vox.com/2018/10/8/17952178/pompeo-north-korea-trip-nuclear-site

October 11, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international | Leave a comment

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says that North Korea is ready to allow inspection of key nuclear site

October 9, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international | Leave a comment

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talks about breaking USA-North Korea stalemate

POMPEO: U.S., N.KOREA HOPE TO BREAK NUCLEAR STALEMATE   https://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Pompeo-US-NKorea-hope-to-break-nuclear-stalemate-568823  

BY REUTERS  OCTOBER 7, 2018  EOUL, – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday he met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during his trip to Pyongyang, aimed at breaking a stalemate in nuclear negotiations between the two countries.

Shortly after arriving in South Korea following the visit, Pompeo posted a photo of himself walking along with Kim on Twitter, saying: “Had a good trip to #Pyongyang to meet with Chairman Kim. We continue to make progress on agreements made at Singapore Summit.  Thanks for hosting me and my team @StateDept.”

October 8, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

North Korea could have 60 nuclear weapons- according to South Korea Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon

South Korea says Kim Jong Un could have 60 nuclear weapons  SEOUL, South Korea , CBS News, 2 Oct 18-– A top South Korean official told lawmakers that North Korea is estimated to have up to 60 nuclear weapons, in Seoul’s first public comment about the size of the North’s secrecy-clouded weapons arsenal. Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon told parliament Monday the estimates on the size of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal range from 20 bombs to as many as 60. He was responding to a question by a lawmaker, saying the information came from the intelligence authorities.

The National Intelligence Service, South Korea’s main spy agency, couldn’t immediately comment.

Cho may have unintentionally revealed the information. His ministry said Tuesday Cho’s comments didn’t mean that South Korea would accept North Korea as a nuclear state, suggesting Seoul’s diplomatic efforts to rid the North of its nuclear program would continue.

The South Korean assessment on the North’s arsenal is not much different from various outside civilian estimates largely based on the amount of nuclear materials that North is believed to have produced……….https://www.cbsnews.com/news/north-korea-kim-jong-un-60-nuclear-weapons-south-korea-minister-atomic-bombs/

October 5, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, South Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

North Korea says it won’t disarm without trust

The Latest: North Korea says it won’t disarm without trust   https://apnews.com/3465b94b6a9641f3a5942e5aecb0c3f6  North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho says his nation will never disarm its nuclear weapons first if it can’t trust Washington.

Ri was speaking Saturday at the United Nations General Assembly. He called on the United States to follow through on promises made during a summit in Singapore between the rivals’ leaders.

His comments come as US. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo seems to be on the verge of restarting deadlocked nuclear diplomacy more than three months after the Singapore with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.

Ri says it’s a “pipe dream” that continued sanctions and U.S. objection to a declaration ending the Korean War will ever bring the North to its knees.

Washington is wary of agreeing to the declaration without Pyongyang first making significant disarmament moves.

Both Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump want a second summit. But there is widespread skepticism that Pyongyang is serious about renouncing an arsenal that the country likely sees as the only way to guarantee its safety.

Pompeo is planning to visit Pyongyang next month to prepare for a second Kim-Trump summit.

October 1, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international | Leave a comment

Scientists study North Korea’s nuclear tests, and the earthquakes

Earthquake Studies Reveal the True Cost of North Korea’s Nuclear Tests Inverse,  By Emma Betuel September 26, 2018
On September 3, 2017, North Korea tested a nuclear bomb 17 times larger than the one that leveled Hiroshima, sending ripples of alarm across the world. More than just raise the eyebrows of policy makers, the blast also piqued the interest of experts at Columbia University’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, who show in a pair of recent papers that last September’s nuclear test may be responsible for many of the aftershocks that occurred in the past year.

While some existing research argues it’s unlikely that a nuclear test could cause a massive earthquake, the two papers identify 13 high-frequency tremors that traveled through North Korea in the months following the September test. More importantly, they confirm which of them were triggered by the explosion, which were unrelated earthquakes, and which — as some have feared — were caused by additional nuclear tests.

“North Korea has conducted six nuclear tests, but the latest one was huge. That’s what we’ve analyzed the signals from,” Woon Young Kim, Ph.D., the lead author of the Seismological Research Letters paper and a professor of seismology geology and tectonophysics, tells Inverse. “The question was: Were they explosions or were they earthquakes?”

The earliest rumblings occurred just eight minutes after the initial nuclear test but were not included in the paper’s aftershock count. But two occurred later that month and another on October 12. In December there were five more. The tremors continued into 2018, with four in February and the final one on April 22.

The issue, explains Kim, is that scientists were aware of these tremors as they occurred but nobody knew why they were happening. At the time, some expertsidentified these tremors as evidence that North Korea was testing more nukes on a smaller scale, but Kim’s new paper, published in conjunction with another studyauthored by his colleague David Schaff, Ph.D., suggests not only that some of those tremors were actually just earthquakes but also that they were tightly grouped along a fault line, where similar events will likely occur in the future.

Bomb or Earthquake?

To find out whether these shakes were organic or the result of nuclear testing, Kim analyzed two major wave types measured after the tests. Whenever the earth shakes (whether it’s due to an explosion or not), the first rumble to roll by is called an “P-wave” or primary wave. It’s typically the first wave to get picked up by monitoring stations and travels around six kilometers per second.

…….. After more analysis, the researchers concluded that “event 8” was actually an earthquake, together with two other suspected explosions.

“There have been about three events at the North Korea test site that we feel were misclassified,” Schaff tells Inverse. “No method is 100 percent certain, but combining the two methods, I was able to say with a very high probably of certainty that these were earthquakes.”

The Real Consequences of September 3, 2017

The good news is that these results suggest that North Korea isn’t testing bombs as frequently as some might fear They do, however, suggest that there could be something going on underneath the surface as a result of the September 3 explosion.

Using the data provided by Kim, Schaff showed that the tremors following the explosion were clustered along a unified path. As it turns out, what had originally looked like a random spattering of explosions and earthquakes over an area spanning five kilometers was actually a cluster of tremors that occurred within about 700 meters of one another near North Korea’s Chinese border.

The activity around this fault line can actually be traced back to that initial explosion in September of last year, explains Kim. “It’s not 100 percent sure, but I think somehow that the nuclear test was so large that it triggered these small seismic events to the north of the area,” he says.

As some have feared, it appears that North Korea’s testing hasaltered the landscape, at least near the surface of the Earth. In April, Kim Jong-Un announced that North Korea would stop testing nukes in its mountainous hideaway beneath Mt. Mantap, a move that Chinese scientists have suggested is due to the fact that a number of underground tunnels have collapsed beneath the mountain. Other studies have also suggested that continued testing has blown bits of Mt. Mantap to smithereens, making it a non-useful test site.

Should North Korea start testing again, says Schaff, he will be eager to continue the project. “It’s nice to be working on something that affects the state of the world we’re living in,” he says. “This is more than just knowledge for knowledge’s sake.  https://www.inverse.com/article/49304-north-korea-nuclear-test-caused-earthquakes

September 28, 2018 Posted by | environment, North Korea, safety, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Trump-Kim nuclear summit planned – but there is no real progress towards nuclear agreement

Trump preparing for 2nd summit with Kim despite little nuclear progress, abc news, By CONOR FINNEGAN
Sep 24, 2018 President Donald Trump is preparing for his second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, he said on Monday while meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in

While critics have warned against holding another meeting when North Korea has taken no meaningful steps toward dismantling its nuclear arsenal, Trump had nothing but praise for Kim, and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeodefended the potential sit-down as something of “enormous value” but only “if we can continue to make progress and have conversations.”

Trump said that the meeting would happen “in the not too distant future,” not in Singapore but a “location to be determined.” He added that Kim had shown “tremendous enthusiasm … toward making a deal” and praised their relationship as “very good. In fact, in some ways it’s extraordinary.”

“We are in no rush. There’s no hurry. … We’ve made more progress than anybody’s made ever, frankly, with regard to North Korea,” he added.

But that kind of talk has negatively impacted the push to have North Korea denuclearize, according to diplomats and experts. By praising Kim and saying there is no rush while North Korea has taken no concrete steps to dismantle its nuclear-weapons program, he takes the pressure off North Korea……..

talks have been stuck in a deadlock over the sequencing, with the U.S. insistent that it will make no more concessions until North Korea denuclearizes — although it’s unclear how far along that process it will have to be before the U.S. responds. North Korea wants some actions, like signing a declaration to formally end the Korean War, first. ………https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-preparing-2nd-summit-kim-nuclear-progress/story?id=58049260

September 26, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

USA must declare an end to the Korean war – to bring peace to the peninsula

To Secure Peace Between the Koreas, US Must Declare an End to the War, Christine Ahn, Truthout, September 24, 2018,A historic opportunity to end the seven-decade Korean War is suddenly within reach. The world witnessed world-class peacemaking between North and South Korea last week at the third inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in declared “a Korean Peninsula free of war” and “a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.” But peacemaking between the two Koreas alone is not enough: The success of this process also rests on progress between Washington and Pyongyang, and particularly on the signing of a peace treaty to end the Korean War.

To a packed audience of 150,000 North Koreans wildly cheering on their feet on September 20 at the May Day Stadium in Pyongyang, President Moon affirmed, “We have lived together for 5,000 years and been separated for 70 years. We must live together as one people.”

At their summit, Kim and Moon announced a long list of actionable stepsthey will take to improve relations, from establishing a reunion center for divided families to reopening the Mt. Kumgang tourism center and the Kaesong industrial zone — two inter-Korean development projects from the previous Sunshine Policy years that were shut down as relations worsened between the two Koreas during the previous two hardline administrations. The defense ministers also agreed in a separate military agreement to reduce military tensions by downsizing the number of guards near the Military Demarcation Line, the border dividing North and South Korea in the De-Militarized Zone (DMZ) established by the Armistice Agreement in 1953. The Korean leaders also agreed to de-mine a village in the DMZ surrounding the border between North Korea and South Korea.

As part of the Pyongyang Declaration by the two Koreas to transform the Korean Peninsula “into a land of peace free from nuclear weapons and nuclear threats,” Kim committed to “permanently dismantle the Dongchang-ri missile engine test site” in the presence of international inspectors, and “the permanent dismantlement of the nuclear facilities in Yongbyon.” But this would depend on “corresponding measures” by the United States “in accordance with the spirit of the June 12 US-DPRK Joint Statement.”

Trump last month canceled Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s trip to North Korea, saying North Korea had not made “sufficient progress” toward denuclearization. North Korean leaders, however, say the United States hasn’t honored its end of the Singapore Declaration in which the first two items were to improve relations and establish a peace process. Denuclearization came third, and the repatriation of the remains of US service members was a last added item.

Pyongyang has already made several concessions: It has halted missile and nuclear tests, begun to dismantle the Sohae missile launch site and destroyed the Punggye-ri nuclear test in the presence of foreign journalists, released three detained Americans, and repatriated the remains of US service members from the Korean War. The United States, meanwhile, has halted one joint military exercise after Trump’s spontaneous announcement at the press briefing following his meeting with Kim. But these joint exercises could easily be resumed.

North Korea has made clear that denuclearization will require a peace process that includes concrete steps toward a Peace Treaty, as promised in the 1953 Armistice Agreement signed by the United States, North Korea and China. James Laney, a former US ambassador to South Korea under Clinton, has argued, “A peace treaty would provide a baseline for relationships, eliminating the question of the other’s legitimacy and its right to exist. Absent such a peace treaty, every dispute presents afresh the question of the other side’s legitimacy.”

But North Korea is unlikely to unilaterally surrender its nuclear weapons without improved relations. We knew that the Clinton and Bush administrations were close to waging a pre-emptive strike on Pyongyang, but now Bob Woodward’s book Fear has also confirmed that even President Obama weighed a first strike on North Korea. Kim has seen what happened to Iraq, Libya and Iran, not to mention his own country’s experience of a devastating US bombing.

Most Americans have no idea that in just three years, the Korean War claimed over 4 million lives. The US dropped 635,000 tons of bombs on Korea, more than it did in the rest of the Asia-Pacific in WWII combined, and it used 33,000 tons of napalm in Korea — more than in Vietnam. Curtis LeMay, a US Air Force general in the Korean War, testified, “We burned down just about every city in North Korea and South Korea … we killed off over a million civilian Koreans and drove several million more from their homes.” The US’s indiscriminate bombing campaign leveled 80 percent of North Korean cities, killing one out of every four family members. The bombing of homes was so devastating that the regime urged its citizens to build shelter underground.

On July 27, 1953, the Korean War ended in a stalemate with a ceasefire. Military commanders from the US, North Korea and China signed the Armistice Agreement and promised within 90 days to return to negotiate a peace settlement. Sixty-five years later, we are still waiting for that Peace Treaty to end the Korean War.

A peace treaty would end the state of war between the United States and North Korea, taking the threat of a military conflict off the table. A ceasefire — a temporary truce — is what has defined the US-North Korean relationship.

One tangible step that the Trump administration can take that the North Koreans would view as a “corresponding measure” is to declare an end to the Korean War……….https://truthout.org/articles/to-secure-peace-between-the-koreas-us-must-declare-an-end-to-the-war/

September 26, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, South Korea, USA | Leave a comment

Peaceful agreement between North and South Korea – but little of substance on denuclearization

North Korea agrees to dismantle nuclear site if U.S. takes steps too

At inter-Korean summit, little of substance on denuclearization https://thebulletin.org/2018/09/at-inter-korean-summit-little-of-substance-on-denuclearization/?utm_source=Bulletin%20Newsletter&utm_medium=iContact%20Email&utm_campaign=September21

By Elisabeth Eaves, September 19, 2018 The leaders of North and South Korea met again this week, ostensibly with a goal of moving the peninsula they share towards denuclearization. Unfortunately they don’t seem to have done so, says Bulletin columnist Duyeon Kim, who followed the summit from Seoul. She shared her analysis with CNN.

“I hate to pour cold water on the situation, but … we have to wait and see what details come out of Moon’s meeting with Trump,” she told CNN anchor Kristie Lu Stout. Moon and US President Donald Trump are expected to speak next week.

The joint statement the Korean leaders issued on Wednesday was short on specifics and new information, Duyeon Kim says—which was as expected. North Korea said it would dismantle a missile engine-test facility and launch pad, a promise it had already made in June. It also said it was willing to dismantle the country’s Yongbyon nuclear complex—if the United States took unspecified “corresponding” measures first.

“Based on the joint statements and the press conference—what is known to us publicly—it does not move the ball forward at all,” Duyeon Kim told CNN. “We’re still in the same place.”

This is the third summit between the North’s hereditary dictator, Kim Jong-un, and the South’s elected President Moon Jae-in. Moon has become a sort of peace broker between the North and the United States, whose leaders were threatening each other with destruction just last year, and many observers still hope he will be able to bring them together.

Earlier, Duyeon Kim shared her expectations for this week’s summit with the BBC, available on this Twitter video thread. As she notes, North Korea and the United States have yet to agree on a definition of “denuclearization.”

September 22, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, South Korea | Leave a comment

North Korea would Permanently Dismantle Nuclear Complex If U.S. Takes Corresponding Steps on the peninsula

North Korea Agrees to Permanently Dismantle Nuclear Complex If U.S. Takes Corresponding Steps, TIME,  ERIC TALMADGE AND KIM TONG-HYUNG / AP , September 19, 2018   (PYONGYANG, North Korea)

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un announced a sweeping set of agreements after their second day of talks in Pyongyang on Wednesday that included a promise by Kim to permanently dismantle the North’s main nuclear complex if the United States takes corresponding measures, the acceptance of international inspectors to monitor the closing of a key missile test site and launch pad and a vow to work together to host the Summer Olympics in 2032.

Declaring they had made a major step toward peace on the Korean Peninsula, the two leaders were side by side as they announced the joint statement to a group of North and South Korean reporters after a closed-door meeting Wednesday morning……

The statement caps off the third summit between Kim and Moon, who is under increasing pressure from Washington to find a path forward in its efforts to get Kim to completely — and unilaterally — abandon his nuclear arsenal. ……..

The question is whether it will be enough for President Donald Trump to pick up where Moon has left off.

Trump has maintained that he and Kim have a solid relationship, and both leaders have expressed interest in a follow-up summit to their meeting in June in Singapore. North Korea has been demanding a declaration formally ending the Korean War, which was stopped in 1953 by a cease-fire, but neither leader mentioned it as they read the joint statement.

In the meantime, however, Moon and Kim made concrete moves of their own to reduce tensions on their border.

According a joint statement signed by the countries’ defense chiefs, the two Koreas agreed to establish buffer zones along their land and sea borders to reduce military tensions and prevent accidental clashes. They also agreed to withdraw 11 guard posts from the Demilitarized Zone by December and to establish a no-fly zone above the military demarcation line that bisects the two Koreas that will apply to planes, helicopters and drones………http://time.com/5400296/north-korea-dismantle-nuclear-complex-nyongbyon/

September 21, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international | 1 Comment

North Korea is willing to allow outside inspectors to check its closed nuclear weapons test site

South Korea Says Pyongyang Willing to Open Up Nuclear-Weapons Test Site

Moon makes disclosure after returning from summit with Kim, in bid to win over North Korea skeptics, WSJ, By Andrew Jeong and Dasl Yoon,  Sept. 20, 2018 SEOUL—North Korea is open to allowing outside inspections of a nuclear-weapons testing site it closed in May, South Korea’s leader said Thursday, just a day after the North agreed to open a missile site to inspectors.

September 21, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international | Leave a comment

South Korea’s President Moon hopes to break nuclear deadlock, in third meeting with Kim Jong Un

Moon seeks to break nuclear deadlock at Pyongyang summit, Yahoo News,  Sunghee Hwang, AFPSeptember 16, 2018 

South Korea’s Moon Jae-in will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the third time in Pyongyang this week

South Korea’s Moon Jae-in will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the third time in Pyongyang this week (AFP Photo/Jung Yeon-je)

Seoul (AFP) – South Korean President Moon Jae-in travels to Pyongyang this week for his third summit with Kim Jong Un, looking to break the deadlock in nuclear talks between North Korea and the United States.

Moon — whose own parents fled the North during the 1950-53 Korean War — flies north on Tuesday for a three-day trip, following in the footsteps of his predecessors Kim Dae-jung in 2000 and mentor Roh Moo-hyun in 2007.

No details of the programme have been announced but Pyongyang is likely to pull out all the stops to create a good impression, with tens of thousands of people lining the streets to welcome him.

The visit comes after the North staged its “Mass Games” propaganda display for the first time in five years……….

Despite the deadlock in denuclearisation talks, since the Panmunjom summit the two Koreas have sought to pursue joint projects in multiple fields.

But North Korea is under several different sets of sanctions for its nuclear and missile programmes, complicating Moon’s desire to promote cross-border economic schemes.

The dovish South Korean president is taking several South Korean business tycoons with him to the North, including Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong and the vice chairman of the Hyundai Motor Group, whose founder was a wartime refugee from the North………

special advisor Moon Chung-in added that the South Korean president could look to persuade Kim to come up with a “somewhat radical and bold initiative”, such as dismantling some nuclear bombs, and press the US for reciprocal measures.

“And the United States should be willing to come up with major economic easing of economic sanctions,” he said. https://www.yahoo.com/news/moon-seeks-break-nuclear-deadlock-pyongyang-summit-041619994.html

September 17, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, South Korea | Leave a comment

North Korea now emphasising economic development, not nuclear might

North Korea spotlights economic development, not nuclear might, as it turns 70 Eric Talmadge, The Associated Press 

CTV News, September 9, 2018 

PYONGYANG, Korea, Democratic People’s Republic Of — North Korea held a major military parade and revived its iconic mass games to celebrate its 70th anniversary on Sunday, but in keeping with leader Kim Jong Un’s new policies the emphasis was firmly on building up the economy, not on nuclear weapons.

The North rolled out some of its latest tanks and marched its best-trained goose-stepping units in the parade but held back its most advanced missiles and devoted nearly half of the event to civilian efforts to build the domestic economy.

It also brought the mass games back after a five-year hiatus. The games are a grand spectacle that features nearly 20,000 people flipping placards in unison to create huge mosaics as thousands more perform gymnastics or dance in formation on the competition area of Pyongyang’s 150,000-seat May Day Stadium.

The strong emphasis on the economy underscores the strategy Kim has pursued since January of putting economic development front and centre. ………Kim attended the morning parade but did not address the assembled crowd, which included the head of the Chinese parliament and high-level delegations from countries that have friendly ties with the North…….

Kim’s effort to ease tensions with President Donald Trump has stalled since their June summit in Singapore. Both sides are now insisting on a different starting point. Washington wants Kim to commit to denuclearization first, but Pyongyang wants its security guaranteed and a peace agreement formally ending the Korean War………

Soon after the anniversary celebrations end, Kim will meet in Pyongyang with South Korean President Moon Jae-in to discuss ways to break the impasse over his nuclear weapons.

The “new line” of putting economic development first has been Kim’s top priority this year. He claims to have perfected his nuclear arsenal enough to deter U.S. aggression and devote his resources to raising his nation’s standard of living…….https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/north-korea-spotlights-economic-development-not-nuclear-might-as-it-turns-70-1.4086040

September 10, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics, politics international | Leave a comment