Trump willing to try engagement with North Korea, on conditions: Seoul




  • In World
  • 2017-05-18 12:14:11Z
  • By By Christine Kim
President Donald Trump gestures as he walks on the South Lawn
President Donald Trump gestures as he walks on the South Lawn

By Christine Kim

SEOUL (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump told South Korea's presidential envoy that Washington was willing to try to resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis through engagement, but under the right conditions, South Korea's foreign ministry said on Thursday.

Trump has said "a major, major conflict" with North Korea is possible and all options are on the table but that he wanted to resolve the crisis diplomatically, possibly through the extended use of economic sanctions.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who took office last week, has campaigned on a more moderate approach toward the North but he has said it must change its attitude of insisting on arms development before dialogue can be possible.

Moon's envoy to Washington, South Korean media mogul Hong Seok-hyun, said Trump spoke of being willing to use engagement to ensure peace, Hong said in comments carried by television.

"The fact that Trump said he will not have talks for the sake of talks reiterated our joint stance that we are open to dialogue but the right situation must be formed," Foreign Ministry spokesman Cho June-hyuck told a regular briefing.

South Korea and the United States agreed during a visit to Seoul by Trump's national security advisers this week to formulate a "bold and pragmatic" joint approach, Cho added.

The North has vowed to develop a missile mounted with a nuclear warhead that can strike the mainland United States, saying the program is necessary to counter U.S. aggression.

The United States, which has 28,500 troops in South Korea to guard against the North Korean threat, has called on China to do more to rein in its neighbor.

China for its part has been infuriated by the U.S. deployment of an advanced Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system in South Korea, saying it was a threat to its security and would do nothing to ease tension with Pyongyang.

South Korea has complained that some of is companies doing business in China have faced discrimination in retaliation for the system's deployment.

North Korea conducted its latest ballistic missile test on Sunday in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions, saying it was a test of its capability to carry a "large-size heavy nuclear warhead".

But a senior North Korean diplomat has said Pyongyang is also open to having talks with Washington under the right conditions.

Moon's envoy to China, former prime minister Lee Hae-chan, arrived there on Thursday with a letter from Moon to Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Before leaving, Lee said a summit between Xi and Moon could happen as soon as July, on the sidelines of a Group of 20 meeting in Germany. A separate summit could also be held the following month, Lee said.

Speaking to Lee, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said there had been some "undeserved setbacks" in relations this year, in apparent reference to THAAD.

"We hope the new government will correct the problems that we have encountered and take effective measures and positions as soon as possible to remove the obstacles that have been placed on the road to good relations between our two countries," Wang said in comments in front of reporters.

"This is the desire of our two peoples but also our governments," Wang added. "We believe South Korea will bring clear measures to improve relations."

China's Foreign Ministry, in a later statement on its website, said Wang "fully explained" China's position on THAAD and asked South Korea to handle China's reasonable concerns appropriately.

"China is willing to make efforts with all sides, including South Korea, to take even more practical efforts and uphold resolving the nuclear issue on the peninsula via dialogue," the ministry cited Wang as saying.

Moon has sent envoys to the United States, China, Japan and the European Union this week in what the government calls "pre-emptive diplomacy". His envoy for Russia will leave next week.

(Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in BEIJING; Editing by Nick Macfie, Robert Birsel)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Trump meets wary EU, NATO allies in
Trump meets wary EU, NATO allies in 'hellhole' Brussels

BRUSSELS (AP) - Visiting a city he once called a "hellhole" to meet with the leaders of one alliance he threatened to abandon and another whose weakening he cheered, President Donald Trump will address a continent Thursday still reeling from his election and anxious about his support.

'We can use peace': Trump and Pope Francis meet

VATICAN CITY (AP) - President Donald Trump and Pope Francis, two leaders with contrasting styles and differing worldviews, met at the Vatican City on Wednesday, setting aside their previous clashes to broadcast a tone of peace for an audience around the globe.

Hands off US election, ex-CIA director says he warned Russia
Hands off US election, ex-CIA director says he warned Russia

WASHINGTON (AP) - Former CIA Director John Brennan told Congress Tuesday he personally warned Russia last summer against interfering in the U.S. presidential election and was so concerned about Russian contacts with people involved in Donald Trump's campaign that he convened top counterintelligence officials to focus on them.

Trump denounces Manchester attack by
Trump denounces Manchester attack by 'evil losers'

U.S. President Donald Trump extended his condolences on Tuesday to the victims of the Manchester suicide bombing that killed 22 people and said those behind the attack were "evil losers". Trump, speaking after talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the town of Bethlehem in the occupied

Flynn rejects Trump-Russia probe subpoena; Dems say he lied
Flynn rejects Trump-Russia probe subpoena; Dems say he lied
  • World
  • 2017-05-23 00:10:42Z

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in rebuffing a subpoena Monday in the investigation into Russia's election meddling. Then a top House Democrat cited new evidence he said appeared

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: World

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.