China says upholds United Nations sanctions as North Korea trade rises

Posted July 18, 2017

But Mr. Moon's overture, the first formal offer of talks since his inauguration in May, indicates he wants to use dialogue to defuse the worldwide standoff over North Korea's weapons programs, despite having condemned the North's first intercontinental ballistic missile test on July 4 and vowed a firm response. The two sides technically remain at war but Moon, who came to power in May, has pledged to engage the North in dialogue as well as bring pressure to impede its nuclear and missile programmes.

The American news agency cited a human rights organization based in South Korea, which claims that there are about 50,000 North Koreans in Russian Federation who are being exploited by their government.

If the talks are held, loudspeaker broadcasts, leafleting and South Korea-U.S. drills are expected to top the agenda.

European Union foreign ministers swung largely behind Washington's stance on North Korea on Monday, threatening further sanctions and pressing China to push Kim Jong Un's regime to abandon its nuclear work.

He told a briefing Monday for a group of United Nations correspondents that "dialogue for the sake of dialogue is meaningless".

President Moon Jae-in's overture Monday clearly showed again that he prefers diplomacy over pressure or economic sanctions to try to improve ties between the two Koreas and persuade the North to give up its nuclear weapons program.

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If the meeting between North and South Korea goes ahead, it would be the first since December 2015.

The South Korean defence ministry proposed talks with the North on 21 July at Tongilgak to stop all activities that fuel tension at the military demarcation line. South Korean acting Red Cross chief Kim Sun Hyang told a news conference that it wants separate talks at the border village on August 1 to discuss family reunions. In all, the North has conducted five nuclear tests and numerous missile tests.

North Korea will likely accept Moon's proposed talks on easing border animosities, as it's something that it's previously called for.

US President Donald Trump issued a statement along with Japan's leader Shinzo Abe and South Korea's premier Moon after a meeting at the G20 summit calling for "maximum pressure" on North Korea.

Pyongyang has repeatedly said it refuses to engage in all talks with the South unless Seoul turns over 12 waitresses who defected to the South a year ago after leaving a restaurant run by the North in China. Prospects for talks on family reunions are less good because North Korea has previously demanded that South Korea repatriate some North Korean defectors living in the South before any reunions take place, according to the analysts.