Saturday, 27 May, 2017

Moon warns 'high possibility' of conflict with North

China rappers to Seoul: 'Big brother' opposes missile shield Chinese, S. Korean officials meet in attempt to repair ties
Freda Brock | 20 May, 2017, 01:00

North Korea has been under unrelenting pressure to rein in its nuclear programme, with the United States threatening to step up military force, the UN raising the possibility of tougher sanctions and even the country's sole ally China expressing growing frustration.

China for its part has been infuriated by the US deployment of an advanced Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system in South Korea, saying it was a threat to its security and would do nothing to ease tension with Pyongyang.

The hotline at the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone that divides the peninsula has been dormant since North Korea severed the channels after Seoul closed a joint industrial complex in the border city of Kaesong.

Beijing vehemently opposes the missile shield, saying its powerful radar will allow it to monitor missile launches, aircraft flights and other sensitive activities in northeastern China.

South Korea's foreign ministry said on Thursday preparations have begun for a summit meeting with the United States slated for late June, as both countries aim to strengthen ties in the face of North Korea's weapons development.

Macron arrives in Mali for military review
Without it, "we would not be able to operate in the area", he said. This is Mr Macron's second foreign trip as president.

The Thaad deployment has already had an impact, after its TPY-2 radar component detected Sunday's missile launch. Pyongyang hailed as a success the launch that was aimed at testing its missiles' ability to carry a heavy warhead, a measure it says it needs to counter USA hostility. It has retaliated against Seoul by suspending visits to South Korea by Chinese tour groups and trips to China by South Korean entertainers. "Seoul needs to make a choice between deploying THAAD and resuming Sino-South Korean relations". In March, South Korean officials voiced concerns that Beijing was limiting tourism to their country as an unofficial sanction.

South Korean retailer Lotte, which provided the land for the THAAD deployment, has also been boycotted by Chinese customers and seen construction halted on an amusement park it was building in northeastern China.

China's top diplomat on Thursday reiterated calls for its dismantling.

South Korea's foreign ministry did not immediately respond to questions about the song, and the video did not appear to garner much attention on the country's social media platforms.

When Chinese President Xi Jinping called Moon last week to congratulate him on his election, Moon reportedly asked Xi for help in ending the economic retaliation that has taken a toll on South Korean businesses.

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