Monday, 23 July, 2018

North Korea's Kim Jong-un makes state visit to China

Kim Jong-un meets Xi Jinping for third time Kim’s China trip may complicate things for Trump
Ellis Copeland | 22 June, 2018, 15:59

However, the president at the time did not name the site.

The site in question is the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground where North Korea has previously tested "liquid-propellant engines for its long-range ballistic missiles", according to a US official who spoke to Reuters.

One of the challenges in the reunification process is the confirmation of the whereabouts of the lost families in North Korea, an issue which requires close cooperation with Pyongyang.

South Korea uses a computerized lottery to pick participants for the reunions, while North Korea is believed to choose based on loyalty to its authoritarian leadership. There are also facilities there for testing missile engines. Going into the summit, Pyongyang repeatedly rejected unilateral nuclear disarmament.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has urged North Korea to present actionable plans on how it will scrap its nuclear program, and for the United States to swiftly take unspecified corresponding measures. "That's not in your signed document; we agreed to that after the agreement was signed", Trump said June 12.

7 - In an interview with the Russian media, President Moon called on the USA and North Korea to implement the measures set by the June 12 declaration as soon as possible.

The testing site in question is in Ch'olsan County, North Pyongan province, and is sometimes is referred to as the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground, according to an administration official. The site is mainly used to test large Paektusan engines built for long-range missiles such as the Hwasong-15.

That could allow the lifting of UN Security Council economic sanctions that have brought about a plunge in the North's foreign trade, although the United States insists easing of sanctions can only come after Pyongyang shows it has ended its nuclear programs.

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KCNA also reported that Mr Xi said relations between China and North Korea had entered a new level of development since Mr Kim's first visit in March. They stopped all nuclear testing.

"United Nations Command Korea is planning for the repatriation of the remains of USA service members previously recovered by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea", said Col. Chad Carroll, a spokesman for US forces in Korea. "And, if global opinion supports the peace initiative of South Korea, it will back up our initiative very effectively", said Park.

The South Korean president also said that during the visit his country and Russian Federation were planning to sign agreements on the comprehensive development of economic cooperation. In total, more than 36,500 US troops died in the conflict.

Asked on Wednesday if North Korea had done anything toward denuclearization since the summit, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters: "No, I'm not aware of that ... obviously, it's the very front end of a process".

He added: "The detailed negotiations have not begun. I wouldn't expect that at this point".

Last month, footage appeared to show North Korea blowing up tunnels at a nuclear test site, hours before President Trump canceled the planned summit.

The move will only be significant if North Korea takes more than cosmetic steps to fully shutter the site, not just the test stand, said Melissa Hanham, a senior research associate at the James martin Centre for Nonproliferation Studies.

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