Wednesday, June 1, 2016

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: N.Korea aims for nuclear and economic development

Ri Su Yong, a senior North Korean official visiting China has stressed that the reclusive country has no plans to abandon its nuclear development program. Ri is the vice chairman of the ruling Worker's Party, overseeing international affairs. He arrived in Beijing on Tuesday for a three-day visit and met with the head of the Chinese Communist Party;s International Department, Song Tao.

The state-run Korean Central News Agency reported on the visit on Wednesday. It said Ri briefed Beijing on the results of the Workers' Party congress last May, the first congress in 36 years.  Ri explained to Chinese officials the party's two-track policy of pursuing economic and nuclear development simultaneously, which North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has declared the policy permanent.

China's foreign ministry urged North Korea to exercise restraint after reports of a failed launch of an intermediate-range Musudan missile yesterday. The ministry said that UN Security Council resolutions stipulate clear rules, and suggested that the launch violated them,

Meanwhile, US researchers say the Korean Peninsula may be preparing to process plutonium for nuclear weapons, or may have already started. The US-Korea Institute at John Hopkins University posted on its website on Tuesday satellite imagery of the Nyongbyon nuclear site.

The photos, taken on the 12th and 22nd of May, show smoke rising from a chimney on a plutonium reprocessing facility at the complex. The researchers say the photos point to the Korean Peninsula's probable plutonium production. They add that exhaust plumes were also confirmed at the facility during February and March.

Then, the South Korean Foreign Ministry warned that North Korea could face tougher sanctions and become more isolated if it does not stop its provocations. The ministry said the launch attempt is tantamount to ignoring repeated warnings from the international community to stop its provocative acts, and it cannot be tolerated.

South Korea will review what countermeasures should be taken through talks with allies after a detailed analysis of the missile launch, hinting a strengthening pressure on the North in cooperation with Japan, the United States, and others.

Senior officials from Japan, the United States and South Korea have agreed to cooperate on preventing North Korea from conducting further provocative actions. The officials met in Tokyo on Wednesday, the day after North Korea's failed missile launch. The officials condemned the North's nuclear and missile programs as totally unacceptable. They also reaffirmed that their governments will refuse to talk with the North unless it makes clear a path to its denuclearization.

Source: NHK World

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