PN's Voice 146

Peace Network Korea
PN's Voice 146, 20.11.2018
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PN's Voice No. 146  20 11. 2018 
Small steps, Road to peace

North Korea Tests New High-Tech Weapon

weapon, state-run media say. The KCNA news agency gave no details on the type of the weapon, saying only it had been developed over a long period. This is North Korea's first official report of a weapons test in a year. In a summit in June Mr Kim and US President Donald Trump agreed the Korean peninsula should denuclearise, but a detailed plan was never set out. North Korean state media have provided no details as to what kind of weapon this was, but it comes shortly after a report based on satellite imagery identified the extent of North's complex network of missile bases around the country. 

South Korea says it is in the process of analysing what the weapon is, but many have pointed out that the North made no commitment to halt any weapons development or shut down its missile bases. Responding to the inspection, a US State Department spokesman said the US "remained confident that the promises made by President Trump and Chairman Kim will be fulfilled". 

Source : BBC News, NY Times 

SK- US Officials to Meet over NK Denuclearization

Top South Korean and US officials will meet in Washington this week to coordinate efforts to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons program. Lee Do-hoon, South Korea's special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, will hold talks Tuesday with his US counterpart, Stephen Biegun, to "further strengthen our close coordination on efforts to achieve our shared goal of final, fully verified denuclearization," the department said in a statement. The two will also discuss "ongoing diplomatic efforts, sustained implementation of UN sanctions, and inter-Korean cooperation," it said.

South Korea has been expanding cross-border exchanges with the North to spur denuclearization, a commitment made by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at his historic summits this year with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and US President Donald Trump. The US is apparently concerned such projects could undermine UN sanctions on the regime, saying inter-Korean progress must proceed at the same pace as progress in denuclearization.

Source : The Korea Herald

Dramatic DMZ Defector Speaks to Japanese Media; says Younger Generation of N. Koreans have no Loyalty to Kim Dynasty 

Eighty percent of young North Koreans have no loyalty to the country's leader, according to Oh Chong-song, 25, a North Korean defector who made a daring escape across the border through the joint security area (JSA) in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) in November 2017. Mr. Oh was interviewed by Japan's Sankei Shimbun and said: "Inside the North (North Korea), people, and especially the young generation, are indifferent to each other, politics and their leaders, and there is no sense of loyalty. If the regime was able to feed the people, they would applaud it, but they are given nothing.” He said the food distribution system has collapsed but North Korea was "excessively" idolizing leader Kim Jong-un. He said residents were scraping by, while officials earn pocket money for overlooking illegal economic activities.

In a short video clip released by Sankei Shimbun, he also said the gap between the capital Pyongyang and other regions has been widening. "Kim Jong-un cares a lot about construction projects and (transportation) systems including taxis, subways and trolley buses in Pyongyang," he said. "People in Pyongyang are seeing the city of Pyongyang and their way of thinking is more advanced than those living in other regions seeing only mountains there." 

Source : The Korea Times, CNN

S. Korea & U.S. Still Unsettled on Splitting USFK Cost 

Korea and the United States failed to reach a deal on sharing the cost of American troops stationed on the peninsula in formal negotiations last week. Senior diplomats of the two sides had three-day talks on the Special Measures Agreement (SMA) to set the amount of Seoul's financial contributions for the 28,500-strong U.S. Forces Korea (USFK). It was the ninth round of bargaining, as the existing accord, which took effect in 2014, is to expire at the end of this year. "There was some progress, but no final agreement was reached," the foreign ministry official told reporters. The allies plan to have the next round of talks in South Korea in early December. The official said Seoul still aims to wrap up the talks before the year's end.

One stumbling block is that there's no data, agreed by the allies, on the current ratio of South Korea's financial burden, which the U.S. claims stays below 50 percent. Thus, South Korean negotiators do not take it into account and instead consider the volume of this year's contribution. Seoul also hopes to enhance the transparency of Washington's related budget spending. The allies began negotiating this issue back in 1991.

Source : Yonhap News 


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