South Korea to attend China's Silk Road summit amid diplomatic rift

South Korea has accepted invitation from China to attend the new Silk Road conference, days after new president took office in Seoul pledging to engage in discussions with Beijing to ease tension over USA anti-missile system.

The previous Park Geun-Hye administration had introduced state-authored history textbooks at middle and high schools, arguing that some existing tomes reflected left-leaning and pro-North Korea ideologies.

Once North Korea comes to the table, all four states then have to be ready to take yes for an answer, offering a combination of security and economic incentives to make denuclearization a reasonable alternative for North Korea's leader.

As North Korea continues to progress in its quest to weaponize intercontinental ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads - presenting an increasingly unacceptable security risk to American policymakers - calls for China to reign in North Korea are becoming louder and more frequent.

Trump should also make sure the South's offer of aid to the North won't undermine US efforts to put maximum pressure on the North, they said. "Such engagement will immediately conflict with Washington's growing desire to squeeze and isolate North Korea like never before", the former officials said.

When Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and new South Korean President Moon Jae-in had their first direct talks via telephone May 11, they made clear their differing positions on the prickly issue of "comfort women". Taking this into consideration, many assert that China can alter North Korea's actions simply by cutting off commercial ties. The extension of that designation would trigger even more sanctions.

Park's father is slain military strongman Park Chung-hee, who ruled South Korea in the 1960s and '70s, and whose legacy as a successful economic strategist is marred by a record of vicious civilian oppression.

Pyongyang is also deeply alarmed by Seoul's participation in annual exercises and training with the US military to carry out precision "decapitation" strikes against Kim Jong Un and his lieutenants.

Instability and loose nukes: Chinese moves to clamp down on North Korea may create instability in Pyongyang's government and security apparatus, increasing chances of parts of its nuclear arsenal getting into the wrong hands. Products originating from North Korea would also be prohibited from entering the United States, according to the legislation.

North Korea on Friday demanded the extradition of the South's spy chief, a Chinese businessman, and unnamed US CIA agents over a supposed conspiracy to assassinate leader Kim Jong-Un. The country hosts some 28,000 USA forces. But will he risk drawing United States ire by asking for its removal from South Korean soil? In the extreme case of North Korea's collapse or war on the peninsula, what roles does Seoul seek for Washington and Beijing to play?

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