Thursday, 21 September, 2017

Korea, US to hold Washington summit in June

Kenny Thornton | 17 May, 2017, 11:10

The agreement came during a meeting in Seoul between the U.S. National Security Council Director for East Asia, Matt Pottinger and Moon's foreign policy adviser, Chung Eui-yong amid rising tensions over North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

New South Korean President Moon Jae-in will visit the White House next month for a summit with President Donald Trump amid worries over North Korea's progress in building a nuclear and missile arsenal, Seoul's presidential office said Tuesday.

North Korea's nuclear and missile capabilities have become more and more advanced over the past few months, and provocations have continued to ratchet up, including its firing of a ballistic missile that landed in the sea near Russian Federation on Sunday and repeat threats to conduct a sixth nuclear test.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attended the launch site of the new ground-to-ground medium long-range strategic ballistic missile, the Hwasong-12, on Sunday.

The North has staged two atomic tests and dozens of missile launches since the beginning of a year ago in its quest to build a long-range missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the USA mainland.

South Korea's left-leaning new leader Moon Jae-In will travel to the U.S. for a summit with President Donald Trump next month, Moon's spokesman said on Tuesday, amid high tensions over the North's nuclear ambitions.

Also Tuesday, Adm. Harry Harris Jr., the top American military officer in the Pacific, met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo to discuss the North Korean missile launch.

Israel provided classified intel that Trump shared with Russian diplomats
The information was reliable enough that the U.S.is considering a ban on laptops on all flights from Europe to the United States. Israel did not confirm that it was the source of the classified information Trump shared with Russian Federation .

South Korea's new government joined hands with the United States on Tuesday to commit to "bold and practical" ways to denuclearise North Korea, Turkey's Anadolu Agency (AA) reported.

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.

Meanwhile, the South Korean Navy revealed a U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier group was to remain in the vicinity indefinitely, while Seoul's defense ministry warned it was ready to carry out a preemptive strike if it detected a missile threat from North Korea. "We will prepare the summit meeting so it could serve as an opportunity for both leaders to develop their personal bond and friendship".

Moon has said he would be willing to visit the North "in the right circumstances", but also slammed Sunday's launch as a "reckless provocation", saying dialogue would be possible "only if the North changes its attitude".

Shin added that a coherent US strategy toward Asia and senior staff appointments in the State and Defense Departments would also aid in supporting the foundation upon which the South Korean and American governments work together on policy challenges, especially North Korea. However, Washington remains Seoul's closest ally and military protector.

Moon took office last week after winning an election triggered by the ouster of his conservative predecessor, Park Geun-hye, who was removed from office and jailed in March over corruption allegations.

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