China: No policy change on N. Korea

18 November, 2017, 02:08 | Author: Katrina Soto
  • Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US President Donald Trump interact during the latter’s trip to Asia

More than 14,000 US personnel are participating in 10 days of drills, which will include the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, the guided-missile destroyers USS Stethem, USS Chafee and USS Mustin, and a maritime patrol and reconnaissance squadron.

"The presence of what appear to be sections of a submarine's pressure hull in the yards suggests construction of a new submarine, possibly the Sinpo-C ballistic missile submarine - the follow-on to the current Sinpo-class experimental ballistic missile submarine", 38 North said in a report on Thursday.

The U.S. has long dismissed the proposal, saying North Korea must unilaterally cease its program before negotiations can begin.

US President Donald Trump has hailed the Chinese government for sending an envoy to North Korea as a "big move" in the wake of his five-country trip to Asia.

Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang Geng said China's position has not changed and the "freeze-for-freeze" initiative, under which the US and South Korea would suspend large-scale military exercises in return, remained a "first step".

"Chemical fertiliser was supplied by the state until the 1970s, but from the early 1980s, production started to decrease", said Lee Min-bok, a North Korean agriculture expert who defected to South Korea in 1995.

"We believe that the freeze-for-freeze initiative is the most viable and reasonable plan against the current backdrop, which can not only alleviate the current tensions, but also addresses the most urgent security concerns of all sides", Geng told reporters at a regular briefing. "I stress that it's only the first step, not the end".

Seoul: North Koreans fire at soldier trying to defect to South
An official with the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said the North's border guards fired at least 40 rounds. In September the North carried out its sixth and largest nuclear test, of what it described as a hydrogen bomb.

Today, North Korea's Ambassador to the UN Han Tae-song met with Reuters in Geneva and claimed that his country won't negotiate with the USA as long as it continues military cooperation with South Korea. Experts say the risks of backtracking are also asymmetrical.

While Washington has said that all options, including military, are on the table in dealing with North Korea, it has stressed its preference is for a diplomatic solution.

China is the main economic backer of the North Korean regime, accounting for most of its official foreign trade.

"President Xi recognizes that a nuclear North Korea is a grave threat to China, and we agreed that we would not accept a so-called freeze for freeze agreement, like those that have consistently failed in the past", Trump said. The WFP says about one in four children have grown less tall than their South Korean counterparts.

The announcement came after a visit to Khartoum by Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan.

Information for this article was contributed by Liu Yang, Amber Ziye Wang and Yuki Oda of The Washington Post and by Josh Lederman and Matthew Lee of The Associated Press.

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