world

N Korea protecting nuclear missiles, U.N. monitors say, ahead of summit talks

11 Comments
By Michelle Nichols and David Brunnstrom

North Korea is working to ensure its nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities cannot be destroyed by military strikes, U.N. monitors said ahead of a meeting between U.S. and North Korean officials to prepare a second denuclearization summit.

The U.S. special envoy for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, will meet his North Korean counterpart on Wednesday in Pyongyang to prepare for a summit later this month between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the U.S. State Department said on Monday.

Biegun has said he hoped the meeting with new North Korean counterpart Kim Hyok Chol would map out "a set of concrete deliverables" for the summit between Trump and Kim Jong Un.

Biegun, who held talks with South Korean officials in Seoul on Sunday and Monday, said he would be aiming for "a roadmap of negotiations and declarations going forward, and a shared understanding of the desired outcomes of our joint efforts".

South Korean officials said they and the United States could be looking at a compromise that could expedite North Korea's denuclearization - the dismantling of the North's main Yongbyon nuclear complex, which could be reciprocated by U.S. measures including formally ending the 1950-53 Korean War and setting up a liaison office.

But U.N. sanctions monitors said in a confidential report, submitted to a 15-member U.N. Security Council sanctions committee and seen by Reuters on Monday, said it "found evidence of a consistent trend on the part of the DPRK to disperse its assembly, storage and testing locations", using the abbreviation for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The North Korean mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report, which was submitted to Security Council members on Friday.

The first summit between Trump and Kim Jong Un last June in Singapore yielded a vague commitment by Kim to work toward the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, where U.S. troops have been stationed since the 1950-53 Korean War.

The Vietnamese resort town of Danang is seen as the most likely location for the next summit.

Trump last Thursday hailed "tremendous progress" in his dealings with North Korea, but the view in the United States is that it has yet to take concrete steps to give up its nuclear weapons program.

North Korea has complained the United States has done little to reciprocate its freezing of nuclear and missile testing and dismantling of some nuclear facilities.

It has also repeatedly urged a lifting of punishing U.S.-led sanctions, a formal end to the war, and security guarantees. The U.N. report said sanctions were proving ineffective.

"The country continues to defy Security Council resolutions through a massive increase in illegal ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products and coal," the sanctions monitors found.

"These violations render the latest U.N. sanctions ineffective."

The monitors said they had evidence of one unprecedented prohibited petroleum product transfer of more than 57,600 barrels, worth more than $5.7 million.

North Korea has said it will never unilaterally give up its nuclear weapons unless the United States first removes any threat to it. North Korea has long demanded U.S. troops be withdrawn as a condition for peace.

The Korean War ended with an armistice that left the two Koreas technically still at war.

The United States has stressed that U.S. troops are not a bargaining chip and South Korea has said U.S. troops in the South were unrelated to any future peace treaty and that American forces should stay even if such an agreement is signed.

The U.S. State Department said on Monday that Washington and Seoul had reached an agreement "in principle" on sharing the cost of stationing U.S. troops in the Asian country.

CNN quoted a State Department official as saying that under the revised agreement, South Korea would boost its contribution to nearly $1 billion.

A 2014 deal that expired last year required South Korea to pay about 960 billion won ($848 million) a year for keeping some 28,500 U.S. troops in South Korea. The allies had appeared unable to strike an accord to renew the deal despite 10 rounds of talks since March.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

11 Comments
Login to comment

There is some confusion here.

North Korea has the sovereign right to ballistic missiles. This issue is separate from nuclear warheads.

The US has decided to offer NK something to have them scrap the ICBM capable of hitting the US mainland.

The ROK has decided to spend $30 billion to build the world's densest triple layer missile defense system, to counter ballistic missiles from all directions.

Which direction will Japan take? Pay off or spend $30 billion on missile defense?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

I'd like to see the US pull completely out of S. Korea and the North give up its nuclear arms.

After doing that, shore up US defense in Japan.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

North Korea is working to ensure its nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities cannot be destroyed by military strikes

Are Trump and Kim still in love ?

Because this doesn't sound like trust...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Which direction will Japan take? Pay off or spend $30 billion on missile defense?

It doesn't necessarily have to be Japan, can be any leader who would send another Silimido to assassinate psychopaths around a fat boy who could defect to South through merciful arrangement . Why not.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

S.K netizens always claim that Japan should look up to Germany and do the same. The fact is Koreans actually unable to do what Germans did to unify the country. They killed each others in Korean War, and have been confronting against each other, despite exactly the same ethnic, with the same culture, speaking the same language even now. The insane side-effects of this historical complex are the origins of problems which the SE Asia are facing at this moment. They need cult , lies and lies, grudge called Han, to sustain their mental conditions.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@showchinmono

I agree with most of your comment, They don't need the Han for their mental condition to continue, they've been using Japan perfectly well for that purpose in the last few decades.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Trump had been a failure on NK.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I agree with most of your comment, They don't need the Han for their mental condition to continue, they've been using Japan perfectly well for that purpose in the last few decades.

Yep, Japan has been the most convenient vent for their Han and anger to spit out. Russia, China, US should step back and let them unify the country first, as they cannot do it themselves as Germans did, as Vietnamese did. and think about how to keep peace in Asia after, methink.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

showchinmono: "Yep, Japan has been the most convenient vent for their Han and anger to spit out."

And vice-versa. In fact, any and every time Abe has been in trouble for political scandal he visits the relatives of abductees and vows to solve the problem. That riles up his base, then when his approval rises a little as a result he goes back to his pet project of changing the constitution (then using NK conveniently again to justify it). And now Japan has no choice but to be the little dog of the US again, and with Trump swearing Kim is a great guy and trusts him more than his own intelligence community, NK of course can keep working on its programs and Japan can do nothing.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@Speed

After doing that, shore up US defense in Japan.

Do you even understand what this means? Currently, the USFK is hosted in the largest US military base overseas, spanning across two cities.

To move a US force this size, Japan needs to offer land equal to two Japanese cities and spend $10~20 billion to build it. 

Now, where on earth will you put this new massive base in Japan? Okinawa is out of question, US troops need to downsize in Okinawa, not add 28K new troops to it. So the new US base will have to be located in mainland Japan, so where? Japanese don't want US bases around their towns as much as Okinawans don't, so there is no place to host additional US troops in Japan.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

And vice-versa. In fact, any and every time Abe has been in trouble for political scandal he visits the relatives of abductees and vows to solve the problem. That riles up his base, then when his approval rises a little as a result he goes back to his pet project of changing the constitution (then using NK conveniently again to justify it). And now Japan has no choice but to be the little dog of the US again, and with Trump swearing Kim is a great guy and trusts him more than his own intelligence community, NK of course can keep working on its programs and Japan can do nothing.

That's how you poorly look at it and it's just easy for you to say so. Abe was one of the most hardliners against N.K when/after visiting Pyongyang under Koizumi who was actually about to return 5 abductees back to N.K.

What would you do if you're in his shoes to rescue abductees or to secure the country and the people with heavy manacles a.k.a article 9 against thugs brandishing missiles or atomic bombs over your head? What would you do only with skinny soft body and bare hands against thugs armed with guns and knives to rescue or protect your family?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites