Sunday , November 27 2022

Will boost defence capacity to counter N Korean threat: S Korea

13-06-2022

SEOUL/ PYONGYANG/ WASHINGTON: The United States warned this month that North Korea is preparing to conduct a seventh nuclear test, and says it will again push for United Nations sanctions if that happens.

“The South Korean government will strengthen capabilities to better implement the United States’ extended deterrence, and we will strengthen the response capabilities of the South Korean military to deter North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats,” Lee said in a speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue, a top regional security summit.

“Moreover, we would like to strengthen security cooperation between South Korea, the US and Japan to respond to North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs,” he added.

North Korea promoted its key nuclear negotiator to foreign minister, state media said on Saturday, as leader Kim Jong Un vowed to his ruling party that he would use “power for power” to fight threats to the country’s sovereignty.

North Korea has carried out at least 18 rounds of weapons tests this year, underscoring its evolving nuclear and missile arsenals.

Lee said South Korea was ready to extend economic support to North Korea if it ended its nuclear program.

“Should North Korea make substantial progress in de-nuclearisation, our government will pursue a bold plan that can yield groundbreaking achievements for North Korea’s economy and its citizens’ quality of life,” he said.

On the other hand, the United States will again push for more UN sanctions on North Korea if it carries out a seventh nuclear test, despite opposition by China and Russia, US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said on Tuesday.

China and Russia last week vetoed a US-led push to impose more UN sanctions on North Korea over its renewed ballistic missile launches, publicly splitting the UN Security Council for the first time since it started punishing Pyongyang in 2006.

The United States will again push for more UN sanctions on North Korea if it carries out a seventh nuclear test, despite opposition by China and Russia, US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said on Tuesday.

China and Russia last week vetoed a US-led push to impose more UN sanctions on North Korea over its renewed ballistic missile launches, publicly splitting the UN Security Council for the first time since it started punishing Pyongyang in 2006.

Thomas-Greenfield has warned that North Korea is “actively preparing to conduct a nuclear test.” If that happens, she said on Tuesday, the United States “absolutely will” push again for more UN sanctions on Pyongyang.

“First of all we need to enforce the sanctions that we have,” she told reporters. “And we certainly as we attempted in this last resolution will push for additional sanctions.”

Over the past 16 years, the Security Council has steadily, and unanimously, stepped up sanctions to cut off funding for Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. It last tightened sanctions on Pyongyang in 2017.

South Korean truckers were on strike for a sixth day on Sunday after talks with the government failed to make progress over their demands for higher pay, crippling cargo transport at the country’s industrial hubs and major ports.

Transport ministry officials met for more than 10 hours with union leaders on Saturday for a third round of negotiations, urging them to return to work, but the two sides failed to narrow their differences, the ministry said.

A union official said he did not know whether talks would continue. The ministry said it will continue to hold talks with the union, without elaborating. (Int’l Monitoring Desk)

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