North Korea says China's Xi wants to boost ties

04 Novembre, 2017, 01:19 | Auteur: Lynn Cook
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However, Xi has yet to visit Pyongyang since becoming president in 2013 and Kim has also not visited China since he became leader in 2011.

This is in keeping with comments in mid-October by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who said that the US intends to continue diplomatic efforts with North Korea "until the first bomb drops".

A second administration official said that while the Trump administration has "made clear that the door was open" for talks with North Korea, "North Korea has shown zero inclination to engage in substantive talks with anyone in the world on the subject".

China, the North's sole major ally, has grown increasingly frustrated with Pyongyang following the isolated state's defiant pursuit of its nuclear and missile programmes, repeatedly calling for restraint and urging all sides to speak and act carefully. Such steps would naturally cause South Korea to move toward participating in US missile defense, some argue. Although the country once sought its own nuclear weapons in the 1970s during the presidency of Park Chung-hee, leaders were persuaded by the United States to abandon such ambitions.

"I strongly believe in the use of soft power before taking any military action", he said, noting the focus of the recent North Korea policy being shifted to "hard power".

Moon's remarks and China's statement came a day after a meeting in Beijing between Lee Do-hoon, South Korea's representative for six-party nuclear talks and his Chinese counterpart, Kong Xuanyou.

The debate has also taken place within Moon's own ruling party, the Democratic Party. But if North Korea's nuclear weapon and missile threat grows even more, South Korea could conceivably find itself under increasing pressure in a variety of ways to allow further deployment.

While China has yet to issue its account of the message, Xi has previously sent messages to Kim, most recently last year when Xi expressed his congratulations for a party congress in North Korea. There's virtually no possibility of a trilateral military alliance forming between South Korea, the US and Japan.

The official said that since the end of the Korean War, "a minority" of American presidents have gone to the still-contested border. Shortly after, satellite images showed what experts said were landslides throughout the area on Mount Mantap.

"I strongly believe if we educate the North Korean population we can change North Korea", he said. Since one THAAD unit is already deployed in this southern area, there would seem to be little reason to deploy another.