Trump to withdraw from free trade deal with South Korea

by Garry Watts September 4, 2017, 6:16
Trump to withdraw from free trade deal with South Korea

North Korea on Tuesday fired a Hwasong-12 missile - reportedly capable of carrying a nuclear payload - that traveled almost 2,700 kilometers into the Pacific and triggered alert warnings as it flew over northern Japan.

However, the prime minister faced a rebuff from China over her call for North Korea's neighbour and sometime ally to exert more pressure on Pyongyang, with the foreign ministry in Beijing calling such attitudes hypocritical.

Carl Baker, an expert in foreign and security policy in the Asia Pacific and a Director of Programs for the Washington-based think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) commented to Sputnik on Pyongyang's possible motives.

Over the past week, China's foreign ministry has repeatedly hit back at calls from Western countries and Japan for China for to do more to rein in North Korea, saying that pushing for dialogue was an equally integral part of the United Nations resolutions, and that escalating sanctions alone had been evidently ineffective.

Kim Jong-un has been shamelessly threatening his nearest neighbour and their allies U.S. with repeated tests - including this week firing a missile over Japan.

Trump has ramped up war talk this year as he promised "fire and fury" and said the USA is "locked and loaded" to deal with Kim.

North Korea is expected to feature heavily in the talks after it launched a ballistic missile on Tuesday that passed over Japanese territory, prompting worldwide condemnation.

Wednesday: Mixed messages from US leadersUS Secretary of Defense James Mattis(L) and South Korea's Defense Minister Song Young-moo listen to their respective national anthems August 30, 2017 upon Young-moo's arrival at the Pentagon in Washington, DC.

Ruan, the former diplomat, said quick action was needed to address the problem as both North Korea and the United States were stepping up their war of words and appeared to be goading each other towards armed conflict.

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North Korea has repeatedly conducted missile launches in recent months, despite being barred from doing so under United Nations rules. But he agreed with Wit that "there is a danger of mixed messaging, because the US government, I believe, is trying to find a way back to the bargaining table". Questions remain about those and other issues, but Professor Koh Yu-Hwan at Dongguk University in Seoul told AFP that this week's launch was "a clear message" the North would not talk until it had nuclear-tipped missiles that could reach the US.

February: North Korea admits it has produced nuclear weapons that it says are for self defense and says it is not interested in disarmament talks.

He should issue a clear statement of policy that the USA military will from now on shoot down North Korean intermediate or intercontinental ballistic missiles if Kim launches them in a way that poses a threat to America and its allies.

In August the UN Security Council passed a seventh set of sanctions against the North over its weapons programmes, including bans on the export of coal, iron and iron ore, lead and lead ore as well as fish and seafood. The two leaders are expected to discuss the possibility of further sanctions on North Korea, Ms May's office said.

Following the North Korean launch, US President Trump said that "all options" were on the table when it comes to dealing with North Korea.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula are at their highest point in years after a series of missile tests by Pyongyang.

President Moon Jae-in also approved recently the full deployment of South Korea's THAAD antimissile battery, which was highly controversial earlier this year.

Allowing South Korea to have longer range missiles could put pressure on China to exert influence over North Korea, Schuster said, because the Chinese will see that as creating a potential threat to them, too.

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