New US base in S. Korea still within striking distance, Pyongyang warns

New Defense Minister Song Young-moo visits the Demilitarized Zone

New Defense Minister Song Young-moo visits the Demilitarized Zone

It, among other things, would impose US sanctions on all those participating in North Korean labour trafficking abuses. The bill if passed by the Congress and signed into law by the US president, would severely impact Chinese businesses.

There are expectations in North Korea that with the development of Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and missile program, future negotiations with the United States will culminate in the easing of sanctions, according to the report.

"The larger the US military base is, the more effectively our military hits targets", a North Korean military spokesman said, Yonhap news agency reported, citing the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

A bipartisan group of five top Senators have introduced a legislation which if passed, would ban any entity that does business with North Korea or its enablers, from using the US financial system.

The South's defence ministry proposed a meeting to be held on Friday at the border truce village of Panmunjom, while the Red Cross offered to hold talks on August 1 at the same venue.

It conducted the first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) earlier this month, claiming to have mastered the technology to mount a nuclear warhead on the missile.

The proposal is the first formal overture by the Government of President Moon Jae-in, who came to power in May pledging to engage the North in dialogue, as well as to apply pressure on Pyongyang to reduce tension on the Korean peninsula. Democratic Senator Robert Menendez said the bill is a bipartisan effort that represents additional measures required to get the North Korea policy right.

China, North Korea's most important economic partner, has been increasing restrictions against North Korean activity in the country.

The North has conducted two nuclear tests since the beginning of last year and missile-related activities at an unprecedented pace.

South Korea's new Defense Minister, Song Young-moo, on Saturday called for strong and overwhelming military readiness when he met soldiers guarding the heavily armed Korean Demilitarized Zone.

With the passage of time, the number of survivors has diminished, with only around 60,000 left in the South.