Sunday, 05 April, 2020

China hosts Japan, South Korea ministers in bid to smooth row

U.S. President Donald Trump North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in leave after a meeting at the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas in Panmunjom South Korea China hosts Japan, South Korea ministers in bid to smooth row
Deanna Wagner | 22 August, 2019, 02:19

In last year's Defence White Paper, Japan said "miniaturizing a nuclear weapon small enough to be mounted on a ballistic missile requires a considerably high degree of technological capacity", and that "it is possible that North Korea has achieved the miniaturization of nuclear weapons and has developed nuclear warheads".

North Korea's state KCNA news agency said the most recent launch, on Friday last week, was in protest at joint US-South Korea defence drills that the regime claims are a rehearsal for an invasion.

North Korea has warned it may conduct longer-range missile tests, or even nuclear tests, if the United States does not change its approach to nuclear talks by the end of the year.

South Korea said on Wednesday it will double the radiation testing of some Japanese food exports due to potential contamination from the tsunami-damaged Fukushima nuclear plant.

"It was senseless to think that inter-Korean dialogue would resume once the military drills with the United States were over", a spokesperson for North Korea's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country said.

US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun.

During his three-day trip, Biegun was scheduled to meet with senior South Korean government officials, including Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul later in the day and Kim Hyun-chong, a deputy director of the National Security Office (NSO) of the presidential Blue House, on Thursday.

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Trump said early this month that Kim had told him he was ready to resume talks and would stop ongoing missile tests as soon as U.S.

A South Korean official said both sides reiterated their positions but the meeting was meaningful in restoring diplomatic dialogue and reaffirming the need to keep talking, South Korea's Yonhap news agency said.

The UN nuclear watchdog expressed strong concern over nuclear activities in North Korea, saying there are indications some facilities are continuing to operate.

"I am fully committed to this important mission, and we will get this done", Biegun said.

KCNA said Kim had overseen the launch of the unspecified "new weapon" and expressed "great satisfaction" over his military's "mysterious and wonderful success rates" in recent testing activity.

But it has now been almost eight weeks since Trump and Kim met on at the DMZ, with little apparent forward progress despite the two leaders agreeing to kickstart working-level talks.