Countries that help N. Korea face sanctions too, USA warns

Richard Drew — The Associated Press file

Richard Drew — The Associated Press file

The spokesman said the goal of any conciliatory policy is to "peacefully resolve the North Korean nuclear issue and continue to develop inter-Korea relations", while "cooperating with the global community".

I will do everything I can to establish peace on the Korean peninsula. If needed I will fly to Washington immediately.

The world is now trying to figure out what China might be doing, saying and thinking about North Korea.

China's top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, called on Seoul on Friday to "respect China's major concerns and properly handle the issue of the deployment of the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system", according to the official Xinhua new agency.

In an announcement reflecting a shift in South Korea's attitude to dealing with Pyongyang under President Moon Jae-in, Seoul's unification ministry said the channel of communication might be recovered to ease tensions with North Korea.

The US Ambassador later tweeted: "There are no excuses that justify N. Korea's actions".

Moon's inter-Korean policies also include re-establishing a non-political relationship between the two Koreas through economic cooperation and cultural exchanges.

In contrast to Putin's myopic view, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was on the button when he called North Korea's conduct "reckless", "provocative" and "unlawful". "But during his campaign, President Moon pledged to reopen it and even make it 20 times bigger".

It has retaliated against Seoul by suspending visits to South Korea by Chinese tour groups and trips to China by South Korean entertainers. A senior foreign policy adviser to Chinese President Xi stressed the impo.

North Korean propaganda must be considered with wariness - Pyongyang has threatened for decades to reduce Seoul to a "sea of fire", for instance - but Monday's claim, if confirmed, would mark another big advance toward the North's goal of fielding a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the US mainland.

That statement from North Korea's state media was a paraphrase of President Kim's celebratory remarks after his country launched a new type of "medium long-range" ballistic rocket that can carry a heavy nuclear warhead.

Communications were severed by the North a year ago, Lee said, in the wake of new sanctions following North Korea's fifth nuclear test and Pyongyang's decision to shut down a joint industrial zone operated inside the North.

"We all have to send a sign to North Korea, and that is "No more". It will need to miniaturize warheads to a much greater extent than it is now likely capable of doing, and the warheads must survive the stresses at launch and the high temperatures and stresses during re-entry.

Pyongyang has carried out two atomic tests and dozens of missile launches since the beginning of previous year in its quest to develop a missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the continental United States.

And based on what President Moon has shown in his first week in office, experts say he is likely to continue being firm, unless the regime shows a change in regard to its nuclear development program. It reposted ads featuring Korean actresses this week and online sales have jumped 40 percent. But this is the time for pressure. North Korea is not as closed off from the world as some might think, but it has very few trade partners.