North Korea links nuclear advances to hostile U.S. policy

China's top diplomat says hopes South Korea can resolve THAAD issue

China's top diplomat says hopes South Korea can resolve THAAD issue

North Korea has made no secret of the fact that it is working to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of striking the United States mainland and has ignored calls to rein in its nuclear and missile programmes, even from China, its lone major ally.

North Korea has justified its latest long-, medium-range ballistic missile test-firing as "routine work to raise nuclear capability for self-defence", rejecting the UN Security Council's condemnation.

Despite the launch, which sparked worldwide condemnation and an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, President Trump has said he is "willing to create peace (with Pyongyang) using engagement", Hong told media on Wednesday.

The two experts said if North Korea launches a strike against South Korea using its conventional artillery north of the Demilitarized Zone, the first wave of shells could land with essentially no warning.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks while Japan's U.N. Ambassador Koro Bessho (L) and South Korea's U.N. Ambassador Cho Tae-yul (R) look on during a press encounter ahead of an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council at the United Nations in NY, U.S., May 16, 2017. "They have really tried to help us in our communications with North Korea".

Moon sent envoys to the United States, China, Japan and the European Union this week in what the government calls "pre-emptive diplomacy". Finally, North Korea claims the test demonstrated that it had mastered re-entry technology, which would allow a warhead to survive the flight and detonate on impact.

The remarks by Putin came following the firing of yet another ballistic missile by North Korea which was airborne for about half an hour and which covered a distance of approximately 450 miles.

Leader Kim Jong Un oversaw the launch and warned of "the worst-ever disaster" if the U.S. provoked the secrative state, claiming it is in "range of (nuclear) strikes", according to Rodong Sinmun on Monday.

North Korea's missile programme is progressing faster than expected, South Korea's defense minister said yesterday, hours after the UN Security Council demanded the North halt all nuclear and ballistic missile tests and condemned Sunday's test-launch.

The missile had reportedly covered a distance of 700 kilometers, with its altitude reported by some media outlets to be as high as 2,000 meters, before descending into the Sea of Japan, according to South Korean and Japanese militaries' estimates.

"The reality is that there is a high possibility of a military conflict at the NLL [Northern Limit Line] and military demarcation line", Reuters cited Moon as saying. The president has vowed to strengthen the country's diplomatic relations with the ASEAN to the level of those with four global powers, including the United States, he stressed. Although he has sometimes criticized the THAAD deployment, Moon has not said he will remove it.

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