Hero’s welcome in Pyongyang for North’s missile developers

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Thousands of citizens gathered on Thursday to cheer on the scientists over the successful launch of Hwasong 12, the medium-range missile fired on Sunday, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

Should the North want talks with the U.S., Tillerson said that Pyongyang should refrain from conducting nuclear or missile tests for a certain period of time so as to create the right atmosphere for talks, according to the official.

Kim singled out as “more serious” the push by the US for a new sanctions resolution and the Trump administration’s demand for all countries “to decide whether they support for DPRK or U.S”.

Trump has said “a major, major conflict” with North Korea is possible and all options are on the table but that he wanted to resolve the crisis diplomatically, possibly through the extended use of economic sanctions.

The United States, which has 28,500 troops in South Korea to guard against the North Korean threat, has called on China to do more to rein in its neighbour.

Such moves underscore a willingness on the part of China’s Communist Party leaders to fan the flames of anti-South Korea sentiment, said Korea expert Sung-Yoon Lee of Tufts University in MA.

China has been infuriated by the US deployment of the THAAD system in South Korea, saying it was a threat to its security and would do nothing to ease tensions with Pyongyang.

Wang and former South Korean Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan were expected to discuss ways of containing North Korea’s missile and nuclear weapons activities as well as the economic fallout over the deployment in South Korea of the US missile defense system called THAAD.

In recent weeks Beijing and Seoul have signaled a desire to fix relations following the election of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who has taken a friendlier stance toward China than his conservative predecessor. South Korean businesses have faced boycotts, especially the retail group Lotte which provided the land on which the system is being constructed. “I look forward to working with President Moon Jae-In, Dr. Hong Seok-Hyun, and Ambassador Ahn (Ho-young) in the months ahead to strengthen our alliance and friendship”, he said.

CD REV’s Wang Zixin told The Associated Press that the group hopes to rally Chinese worldwide against the deployment of THAAD and demonstrate China’s “tough stance” on the issue.

Lee Eu-gene, vice spokeswoman at South Korea’s Ministry of Unification, which handles inter-Korea relations, warned North Korea on Friday in a regular briefing to cooperate with efforts by the South and the global society to denuclearize the peninsula.

China’s foreign ministry, in a later statement on its website, said Wang “fully explained” China’s position on THAAD and asked South Korea to handle China’s reasonable concerns appropriately.

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