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S. Korea offers talks on tension, family reunions with North

18 Julio 2017

It was unclear how North Korea will react since it remains suspicious of new South Korean President Moon Jae-in's outreach to it. But Moon's overture, the first formal offer of talks since his inauguration in May, indicates he wants to use dialogue to defuse the international standoff over North Korea's weapons programs, despite having condemned the North's first intercontinental ballistic missile test on July 4 and vowed a firm response. Along with this, the bill allocates US$12.5 billion to missile defense that is aimed at countering the ballistic missile threat posed by North Korea and Iran.

Though the strategy could potentially starve North Korea of some of its money, it's unlikely to really tighten the noose on North Korea without the buy in of China, Kim Jong Un's most important benefactor.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the foreign ministers are looking to "facilitate a solution that in our view cannot be but a diplomatic and political one".

Myanmar insists that arms deals and other military relations with North Korea stopped before its transition to a nominally civilian government in 2011.

Its aim is to halt "all acts of hostility" near the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) that bisects the two Koreas, the ministry said.

Since the beginning of his term, President Trump's approach, on full display at his April meeting in Mar-a-Lago with Chinese ruler Xi Jinping, has been generous. In addition, the bill asks the government to submit a report about increasing arms sales to allies, planning for drills and deployment of bombers that can carry both nuclear and conventional weapons, and adjusting the strategic nuclear stance, which would include redeploying submarines that can carry cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads.

In the speech, ahead of the G20 meeting in Hamburg, Moon described North Korea's missile launch as "disappointing" and "reckless".

The last such reunions were held in October 2015 during the government of Moon's predecessor under a futile push for reconciliation following a sharp increase in tension over border incidents involving a landmine blast and artillery fire.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson doubled down on American efforts to go after states violating international law in their dealings with Pyongyang. "Any country that hosts North Korean guest workers, provides any economic or military benefits, or fails to fully implement UN Security Council resolutions is aiding and abetting a dangerous regime".

"It is time for the US to renew its perspective on the DPRK's strategic position which has reached the dazzling heights, and to act with prudence", the statement said.

New images have been released from the Korean War. But he has achieved little progress, with North Korea test-firing a series of newly developed missiles.

Continued North Korea provocations, however, is pushing Washington toward stepping up unilateral sanctions, a move Beijing has opposed. The humanitarian organization would like to resume work to reunite families that were separated by the 1950-53 Korean War. The bill passed with 344 in favor and 81 against, and it must still be revised by the Senate.

China can expect more banks to suffer the fate of the Bank of Dandong.

S. Korea offers talks on tension, family reunions with North