PN's Voice 104

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PN's Voice 104, 05.01.2017
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PN's Voice No. 104,  05. 01. 2017 
Small steps, Road to peace

Trump Dismisses NK Missile Capability

Kim Jong-un declared this week that North Korea was in the “final stage in preparations” of an intercontinental ballistic missile test. While Kim offered no time frame for such a test, North Korea has routinely tested short- and medium-range missiles, with some successes and many failures, but it has so far stopped short of testing a long-range missile, which could reach Guam or the West Coast of the United States.

President-elect Donald Trump took to Twitter on Monday to respond to North Korea’s long-range missile development claims by declaring “It won’t happen!” After his first Twitter message, Mr. Trump added criticism of China for its perceived inaction towards North Korea: “China has been taking out massive amounts of money & wealth from the U.S. in totally one-sided trade, but won’t help with North Korea. Nice!” A spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs rejected Mr. Trump’s criticisms and appeared to suggest that such comments could inflame tensions with North Korea. “We hope that all sides avoid using words and actions that lead to escalating tensions,” the spokesman, Geng Shuang.

Mr. Trump takes office in less than three weeks, and a test by North Korea, if it demonstrated that the missile could in fact reach American shores, would present one of the first big national security tests for his administration.
Source : The New York Times

U.S. watching N. Korea very closely: State Department

The United States takes North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's rhetoric on intercontinental ballistic missile capabilities seriously and is keeping a close watch on the communist nation, the State Department said on Wednesday. "We are forced by his actions in the past to take his rhetoric seriously and we do. We can discuss intelligence issues, one way or the other, in terms of what assessment we might make of where he is on this particular issue. But obviously, it's something that we're watching very closely," State Department spokesman John Kirby said at a briefing.

Kim Jong-un said in his New Year's Day address that his nation has reached the final stage of preparations to test-fire an ICBM. It was widely seen as a thinly veiled threat that Pyongyang is close to developing a nuclear-tipped missile capable of striking the continental U.S. Kirby expressed his nation’s doubt to Kim’s claim. Nonetheless, the threat sparked security concerns in the U.S.
Source : Yonhap News

Chinese FM calls for S. Korea to Halt THAAD Deployment

China's top diplomat called Wednesday for South Korea to halt the planned deployment of the U.S. THAAD missile defense system when he met with a group of South Korean opposition lawmakers, according to the legislators. Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the appeal, saying China doesn't want relations with South Korea to move backward, but it would be unimaginable for the country to say it wants to expand the relations when Seoul says it intends to accelerate THAAD's deployment. Wang also said that Chinese leaders are trying to fulfill South Korea's security interests, and he hopes South Korea will also consider the balance in China's security.

Wang was also quoted as telling the lawmakers that there should be no nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula, and the North Korean nuclear issue should be resolved through dialogue. As to the possibility of a North Korean nuclear test, Wang said China's keeping an eye on the issue. He also told the lawmakers that China resolutely opposes the North's nuclear program and its nuclear test, and agreed to adopt a U.N. Security Council sanctions resolution, rejecting recent criticism from President-elect Donald trump that China isn't doing its part properly in resolving the issue.
Source : Yonhap News

  
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