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NUKEWARS
Moon's win shows 'longing' for change: N.Korean envoy
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) May 15, 2017


Putin says intimidation of North Korea must end
Beijing (AFP) May 15, 2017 - Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that North Korea's latest missile test was "dangerous", but he warned that Pyongyang was being intimidated and called for a peaceful solution to regional tensions.

"We are categorically against the expansion of the club of nuclear powers," Putin told reporters after an international forum in Beijing.

"We consider (the missile test) counter-productive, harmful and dangerous," Putin said.

But, he added: "We must stop intimidating North Korea and find a peaceful solution to this problem."

North Korea celebrated Sunday's launch of what appeared to be its longest-range ballistic missile yet tested in a bid to bring the US mainland within reach, saying it was capable of carrying a "heavy nuclear warhead".

The missile was launched on an unusually high trajectory, with KCNA saying it flew to an altitude of 2,111.5 kilometres and travelled 787 kilometres before coming down in the Sea of Japan (East Sea).

That suggests a range of 4,500 kilometres (2,800 miles) or more if flown for maximum distance, analysts said.

The White House said Sunday that the missile came down "so close to Russian soil... the president (Donald Trump) cannot imagine that Russia is pleased".

But Russia's defence ministry later said the missile landed about 500 kilometres from its territory and posed no threat.

A North Korean diplomat said Monday the election victory by left-leaning South Korean President Moon Jae-In reflected the people's "longing" for change.

The comments by ambassador to Beijing Ji Jae-Ryong were the first official response by the North to Moon's triumph last week, except for a four-paragraph dispatch by the official Korean Central News Agency two days after the vote.

Moon -- who favours engagement with Pyongyang to curb its nuclear ambitions -- won overwhelmingly after his conservative predecessor Park Geun-Hye was ousted over a massive corruption scandal.

"The South Korean people are longing for new politics, new society and new life and the election was a reflection of this popular sentiment," Ji told reporters in Beijing.

Park, who advocated a hard line with the North, was arrested in March and is in jail awaiting trial on multiple charges.

"Anyone who pursues selfish interests by following a foreign power and keeping their distance from their compatriots cannot avoid the stern judgement of the people," Ji said.

It was important for Seoul's leadership to "faithfully abide" by previous North-South agreements, he added,

Moon was part of the South's last liberal government nearly a decade ago, which pursued a "Sunshine policy" of reconciliation and dialogue with the North.

He is widely expected to shift away from Park's approach, and declared at his swearing-in that he would go to Pyongyang "in the right circumstances".

But its latest missile launch came only four days into Moon's tenure and he slammed it as a "reckless provocation", saying dialogue would be possible "only if Pyongyang changes its behaviour".

NUKEWARS
Trump calls for tougher sanctions after N. Korea missile
Seoul (AFP) May 14, 2017
President Donald Trump called for tougher sanctions against North Korea after it fired a ballistic missile Sunday in an apparent bid to test the South's new liberal president and the US. "Let this latest provocation serve as a call for all nations to implement far stronger sanctions against North Korea," the White House said in a brief statement. The missile flew more than 700 kilometres ... read more

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