PN's Voice 82

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PN's Voice 82, 02-06-2016
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PN's Voice No. 82   02. 06. 2016 
Small steps, Road to peace


North Korea Tells China of ‘Permanent’ Nuclear Policy

Ri Su-yong, a senior North Korean official arrived in Beijing on Tuesday for talks between his North Korea and China, whose ties are formally close but have eroded recently because of the North’s nuclear weapons program. North Korea’s state-run Central News Agency reported early on Wednesday that Ri told the Chinese that it was the “permanent” policy of the North to try to expand its nuclear arsenal while striving to rebuild its economy.

Mr. Ri’s remarks were made during a meeting with Song Tao, who heads the International Liaison Department of the Communist Party in Beijing. The North Korean news agency said Mr. Ri had “stressed” that it was the Workers’ Party’s “principled” stance to stick loyally to Mr. Kim’s policy, known as Byungjin (parallel development of the economy and nuclear weapons), as a “permanent strategic line” and use it as a base to “defend peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in the region.” The news agency quoted Mr. Song as saying that the Chinese Communist Party and government supported North Korea’s pursuit of “a path to development that suits its reality.” It did not specify what Mr. Song had said about the North’s nuclear weapons program.

Mr. Ri’s visit continued efforts by Mr. Kim to court China, the North’s main trading partner and benefactor, as the country feels the effects of United Nations sanctions. Still, China has been frustrated enough by the North’s continued testing of nuclear weapons and launching of missiles that it agreed to the international sanctions in March, and Beijing seemed unlikely to offer substantial support to the North during Mr. Ri’s visit. The visit concluded with Ri meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, who also serves as secretary general of the party and had, until now, been seen to distance himself from North Korea.
Source : The New York Times


SK: NK Missile Launch Fails

A North Korean attempt to fire a missile from its east coast has failed, South Korean officials said, in what could be the latest in a string of unsuccessful ballistic missile tests conducted by Pyongyang. South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the North tried to launch an unidentified missile early in the morning from the town of Wonsan on Tuesday, but that it is likely to have failed. Tension in Northeast Asia has been high since North Korea conducted a fourth nuclear test in January and followed that with a satellite launch and test launches of various missiles.

The most recent launch follows Seoul's rejection of an offer from the North to talks. In April, Pyongyang attempted unsuccessfully to launch three suspected powerful intermediate-range Musudan missiles. The timing of the latest attempted launch coincides with top North Korean office Ri Su Yong’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, is particularly noteworthy. Several experts have interpreted this as being a North Korean attempt to force China into taking note of North Korea and attempt to repair ties as the North struggles under the effects of several heavy international sanctions. .

China’s Xi Jinping has called for calm on the Korean peninsula following this latest launch; "China's position on the peninsula issue is clear and consistent. We hope all sides remain calm and exercise restraint, increase communication and dialogue and maintain regional peace and stability," Chinese news outlet Xinhua cited Xi as saying.
Source : Al Jazeera, Voice of America


North Korea Applauds Donald Trump’s Threat to Pull Troops From South

Donald Trump’s proposals for upending American policy toward the Korean Peninsula have found a receptive audience in North Korea. On Wednesday, the official newspaper of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party published a commentary praising Mr. Trump’s threat to pull American troops out of South Korea if elected president, unless Seoul pays more for their presence. It said the threat had shocked South Korean policy makers, who it characterized as servants of America, a standard theme of the North’s propaganda.

In a March interview with The New York Times, Mr. Trump accused South Korea of not contributing enough toward the cost of keeping tens of thousands of American troops in the country, suggesting he might withdraw them if elected. He further unsettled South Korean officials by declaring in May, during an interview with Reuters, that he would be willing to negotiate directly with Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, to try to stop the North’s nuclear arms program. “I would have no problem speaking to him,” Mr. Trump said.

South Korean officials have told reporters that they are trying to reach out to Mr. Trump’s policy advisers in hopes of persuading him that the American military presence here benefits the United States as well as South Korea.

North Korea has long called for the withdrawal of American troops from the South, where they have been based since the Korean War ended without a peace treaty more than 60 years ago. Pyongyang calls them a source of military tension on the peninsula and an obstacle to Korean reunification. The North also wants direct dialogue with Washington to discuss the troops’ removal.
Source : The New York Times


Washington Aims to Completely Cut off NK from International Financial System

The U.S. announced on Wednesday that it has devised additional measures to cut off North Korea from the international financial system. The U.S. treasury department said that it designated North Korea as a primary money laundering concern, prohibiting third-country banks and other financial institutions from U.S. dollar transactions for North Korea.

The department's Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial intelligence Adam Szubin said that the U.S. and its international partners "remain clear-eyed about the significant threat that North Korea poses to the global financial system." U.S. State Department Spokesman John Kirby explained the treasury move, saying Washington is seeking to make it difficult for Pyongyang to fund its nuclear and missile programs; "The sanction complements series of U.S. international actions to protect the international financial system from being abused by North Korea, and counteract its ability to finance the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to develop its illicit weapons program."

The latest move is considered to be tougher than the U.S.' 2005 freeze of North Korean accounts at a single bank of Banco Delta Asia(BDA) in Macau. Washington is apparently targeting financial institutions in China, the North's largest trading partner. The decision came on a day when a high-ranking North Korean delegation met President Xi Jinping in Beijing.
Source : KBS News


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