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U.S. will tighten screws on North Korea, says Nikki Haley

21 May 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump told South Korea's presidential envoy that Washington was willing to resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis through engagement under the right conditions, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported on Thursday.

Moon's envoy to the United States, South Korean media mogul Hong Seok-hyun, left for Washington on Wednesday. Whereas Soviet nuclear weapons in Cuba posed an immediate threat that required a quick and decisive response, North Korea remains unable to launch a direct nuclear attack against the U.S. with its current arsenal, allowing the United States to continue its slow-burning strategy of "strategic patience" despite a recent spike in tensions.Pyongyang's latest missile test, however, indicates that North Korea is making significant progress towards obtaining a nuclear weapon able to strike the USA mainland.

Kim accused the council of playing "to the tune of the US again" and protested the Trump administration's demand for countries to choose allegiance between the United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, his country's official name.

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".

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China for its part has been infuriated by the US 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.

Trump later said he would be "honored" to meet the North's leader, Kim Jong Un, under the right conditions.

Xi told Lee Hae-chan, representing new South Korean President Moon Jae-in, that his visit showed the importance Moon attached to relations with Beijing.

"But this year we've had some undeserved setbacks", Wang said, in a veiled reference to the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system that became operational earlier this month.

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For his part, Lee said Moon asked him "to express his thanks to President Xi for his message of congratulations after our election".

"There are even ludicrous statements in South Korea - which claims our new rocket launch is a test of the new government - is only an absurd silly talk stemming from ignorance and misunderstanding about us", KCNA said.

"We're willing to work with South Korea to preserve the hard-won results, properly handle disputes, put China-South Korea relations back onto a normal track and benefit both peoples on the basis of mutual understanding and mutual respect", he said.

Moon has sent envoys to the United States, China, Japan and the European Union this week in what the government has called "pre-emptive diplomacy".

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U.S. will tighten screws on North Korea, says Nikki Haley