China, US trade barbs on trade, territorial claim

Cristina Cross
June 15, 2018

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that the three North-east Asian countries of China, Japan and South Korea support Washington's stand that North Korea should denuclearise completely before sanctions are lifted or economic relief is provided.

Gen. Kim Do-gyun, center, speaks to the media before leaving for the border village of Panmunjom to attend South and North Korea meeting, at the Office of the South Korea-North Korea Dialogue in Seoul, South Korea, today.

Pompeo underscored that the agreement signed on Tuesday by Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un includes verifiable and irreversible denuclearization. Meeting briefly with Mr Pompeo on Thursday morning, Mr Moon said he was eager to hear how the United States and North Korea could "fully and expeditiously implement this great agreement".

Harris's nomination hearing came two days after the first meeting between a sitting USA president and North Korean leader - followed by Trump's pledge to end joint military drills with South Korea, a move that some U.S. lawmakers found unsettling.

Abe told reporters that Trump had clearly conveyed Japan's stance on the abduction issue to the North Korean leader.

But the document has been criticised for lacking details on when or how Pyongyang would give up its weapons.

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met Thursday with families of people abducted by North Korea decades ago and pledged to deal directly with the North to resolve the issue.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono, center, and South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha.

Last year, about 50,000 South Korean and 17,500 US troops participated in Ulchi-Freedom Guardian, billed as the world's largest command-and-control exercise and aimed at defending against a North Korean attack.

The top diplomats from the United States, Japan and South Korea are discussing the North Korean nuclear threat and USA diplomacy with Kim Jong Un. But South Korea, Japan, and the US have long maintained that the exercises are defensive in nature. "For the President of the United States to send that signal to a North Korean general struck many people as odd at best, and insulting at worst, to the tens of thousands of North Koreans who have struggled under Kim's dictatorship".

"They are certainly concerns to North Korea and China", he said, "but we do these in order to exercise our ability to work and cooperate with our South Korean ally".

They ignored a shouted question from an American journalist about President Donald Trump's decision to halt joint U.S.

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South Korea will have to be flexible when it comes to military pressure on North Korea if it is honest about denuclearisation, and it will review its position on military exercises with the United States, President Moon Jae-in said on Thursday.

In public, at least, South Korea's leader sought to put a positive spin on the summit's outcome.

"We are prepared to start a new history, and we are prepared to write a new chapter between our nations", Trump said.

The summit in Singapore did mark a reduction in tensions - a sea change from last fall, when North Korea was conducting nuclear and missile tests and Mr Trump and Mr Kim were trading threats and insults that stoked fears of war.

Speaking to reporters after talks with Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing, Pompeo said, "China has reaffirmed its commitment to honouring the UN Security Council resolutions".

North Korea blamed botulism and ingestion of a sleeping pill and dismissed torture claims.

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Former U.S. basketball star Dennis Rodman wept during an interview in Singapore on Tuesday as he discussed unprecedented talks between the North Korean and U.S. leaders in the city-state aimed at trying to end a nuclear standoff.

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