South Korea says communication channel with North must reopen

Postado Mai 18, 2017

Harris also cautioned that the missile launch indicated a major advancement in the North's technological capabilities and called for further coordination among Japan, South Korea and the United States to deal with the increasing North Korean threat. North Korea's nuclear and missile tests prompted the rival Koreas to suspend inter-Korean dialogue, the news agency said.

According to previous Security Council resolutions, the DPRK is banned from conducting any launches that use ballistic missile technology, nuclear tests or any other provocation.

Haley said a plan is still in the works between the US, Japan, South Korea and China - North Korea's only major ostensible ally - to halt North Korea's progress on nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

Flanked by ambassadors from Japan and South Korea, Haley reiterated the USA position that it is willing to engage in talks with Kim's regime if it abandons its nuclear aspirations. The North defends its weapons programs as necessary to counter US hostility and regularly threatens to destroy the United States. South Korean Unification Ministry spokesman Lee Duk-haeng told reporters the government's most basic stance is that communication lines between South and North Korea should reopen. He also said the North's nuclear and missile capabilities seem to have advanced rapidly recently but that the South was ready and capable of striking back should the North attack.

Moon's envoy to the United States, South Korean media mogul Hong Seok-hyun, left for Washington on Wednesday.

The top American military officer in the Pacific said Wednesday that North Korea's recent military actions are "a recipe for a disaster" and warned Kim Jong-Un's goal is to create nuclear missiles capable of striking anywhere in the world.

Harris is visiting Tokyo to discuss North Korea and other issues with Japanese officials, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who he met Tuesday.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley accused North Korea on Tuesday of intimidating the entire worldwide community with its nuclear program, military ability and cyberattacks, and said any country that doesn't implement United Nations sanctions is supporting Pyongyang's actions. He said: "We should fly, by able to fly and operate wherever global law allows".

During his speech, Harris also criticised China for standing in the way of United States freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea.