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'High possibility' of conflict with North

19 Mai 2017

The election of Moon Jae-in as South Korea's president marks the re-emergence of a major player that had been silenced for five crucial months because of the country's political paralysis, which ended with the impeachment and arrest of his conservative predecessor, Park Geun-hye.

The spokesman said the goal of any conciliatory policy is to "peacefully resolve the North Korean nuclear issue and continue to develop inter-Korea relations", while "cooperating with the global community".

Abe and the South Korean envoy also restated in the talks at the prime minister's office that Tokyo and Seoul are important regional neighbors and share strategic interests.

In the statement released by a spokesman for the government-backed Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee (KAPPC), Pyongyang said on Thursday that Seoul had "behaved indecently", referring to a National Security Council (NSC) meeting presided by Moon and the government's condemnation of the test.

The missile had been launched by a "midget" submarine, which according to US defense officials is the same class as North Korea's Yono submarine.

Shares in Lotte Shopping 023530.KS reversed earlier losses to rise 1.5 percent, while Hotel Shilla 008770.KS , South Korea's second-largest duty free store operator, rose 2.8 percent.

When asked if the launch indicated that North Korea's missile program was developing faster than expected, Han responded, "yes".

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who criticized the latest test-firing, said Pyongyang's actions were "unacceptable", but he also appeared to hold out an olive branch to Kim.

In Seoul, some citizens expressed frustration. "We will never tolerate such North Korean provocations and nuclear threats", he added.

But he has said the North must change its attitude of insisting on pressing ahead with its arms development before dialogue is possible.

While Trump has said he'd be "honored" to talk with leader Kim under favorable conditions, Haley seemed to rule out the possibility. In regard to the question of renegotiating the South Korea-US Free Trade Agreement, which US President Donald Trump has mentioned previously, Hong said that "That's an issue we don't need to bring up unless the US brings it up first".

"It is considered an intermediate range ballistic missile of enhanced caliber compared to Musudan missiles that have continually failed", he said, reported Reuters.

Cho added that South Korea and the US agreed during a visit to Seoul by Trump's national security advisers on Monday to formulate a "bold and pragmatic" joint approach. They would be focusing on how they could isolate North Korea even more so as to convince the latter to turn its back on the "very unsafe path" it was treading on. North Korea is the rogue nation that has long envisioned uniting the two Koreas through the use of force.

A special envoy representing Moon is due to visit China on Thursday for talks on THAAD and the overall bilateral relationship. At the end of April, the USS Carl Vinson nuclear aircraft carrier task group arrived in the waters off the Korean Peninsula for a separate joint naval exercise with South Korea.

'High possibility' of conflict with North