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N. Korea denies role in global cyber attack

21 May 2017

The head of the South Korean delegations, Minjoo (Democratic) Party member of the National Assembly Park Byeong-seok, announced to Hankyoreh that he had met before the forum's opening on the morning of May 14 with the head of the North Korean delegation, Minister of External Economic Relations Kim Yong-jae.

North Korea will rapidly strengthen its nuclear strike capability as long as the United States maintains its "hostile policy" toward the country, the country's deputy UN ambassador said Friday.

This appeared a bit short of an outright precondition, though Kim insisted that North Korea views USA hostility as "the root cause of all problems" in the region.

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North Korea on Sunday test-fired what analysts say was its longest-range rocket yet as it accelerates efforts to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the continental United States. Getting diplomacy going is likely to depend heavily on USA acquiescence, with the Trump Administration insisting diplomacy is a "failure". Kim In Ryong told a news conference that if the Trump administration wants peace on the Korean Peninsula, it should replace the Armistice Agreement that ended the 1950-53 Korean War with a peace accord and halt its anti-North Korea policy, "the root cause of all problems".

Trump later said he would be "honoured" to meet the North's leader, Kim Jong Un, under the right conditions. "But what is important is not words, but actions".

At the Pentagon, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said that the recent missile test showed North Korea isn't complying with pressure from the global community.

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"The thought of placing cyanide in the hands of the North Koreans, considering their record on human rights, political prisoners, and assassinations is not only unsafe but defies common sense", Haley said in a statement.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley raised concern on Friday about an application by North Korea to patent a process to produce sodium cyanide, which can be used to make the nerve agent Tabun and is also used in the extraction of gold. It first did so in 2006 in response to multiple nuclear tests and rocket launches by the state. The agency does not grant patents.

"If this goes to a military solution it is going to be tragic on an unbelievable scale, and so our effort is to work with the United Nations, work with China, work with Japan, work with South Korea to try to find a way out of this situation", Mattis said at a news conference.

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N. Korea denies role in global cyber attack