Published: Sun, May 21, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

U.S. admiral: North Korea's actions 'recipe for disaster'

U.S. admiral: North Korea's actions 'recipe for disaster'

Chinese President Xi Jinping said Friday he's willing to help ties with South Korea return to a "normal track" amid a rift over Seoul's deployment of a high-tech USA missile-defense system to guard against North Korean threats. China is North Korea's biggest economic partner and source of diplomatic support and has come under heavy pressure to use its influence to rein in the North's missile and nuclear activities.

In recent weeks Beijing and Seoul have signaled a desire to fix relations following the election of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who has taken a friendlier stance toward China than his conservative predecessor.

The remarks, made in a meeting with South Korea's special presidential envoy Hong Seok-hyun, is the latest in a series of signs that the USA may be moving toward dialogue and engagement with Pyongyang after months of exchanging saber-rattling and harsh rhetoric.

South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo confirmed North Korea launched a missile Sunday which was large enough to carry a nuclear warhead and with the range to possibly deliver that warhead against targets on the mainland United States.

North Korea conducted two nuclear tests previous year which are likely to have improved its know-how in making nuclear weapons small enough to fit on long-range missiles.

Yoon said Chung and Pottinger in their meeting reaffirmed that Seoul and Washington share a common goal in the "complete discarding" of North Korean nuclear weapons and will pursue "all methods, including sanctions and dialogue" to reach the goal.

Xi's remarks came in a meeting with South Korean special envoy Lee Hae-chan, who was dispatched to Beijing by new President Moon Jae-in on a mission to reopen contacts and seek a way out of the current impasse that has hit South Korean businesses hard.

For his part, Lee said Moon asked him "to express his thanks to President Xi for his message of congratulations after our election".

Hong said earlier that he wanted to ease misperceptions among the US leaders about the liberal president's North Korea policies and their concerns that the alliance will weaken under Moon's leadership.

Moon has sent envoys to the United States, China, Japan and the European Union this week in what the government calls "pre-emptive diplomacy".

Lee said the ROK acknowledged that the deployment of THAAD has harmed ROK-China mutual trust and exchanges, and fully understands China's reasonable concern over the issue.

Regarding the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, Wang said China is willing to work with all sides on more effective measures, and that China insists on solving the issue through dialogue and is determined to safeguard peace and stability on the peninsula. His envoy for Russian Federation will leave next week.

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