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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

North Korea could come to talks while suspending nukes: South Korea

Iran Press TV

Tue Nov 14, 2017 07:11PM

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has indicated that talks with North Korea could begin without requiring the regime in Pyongyang to destroy its nuclear arsenal as a precondition.

"If talks begin to resolve the North Korea nuclear issue, I feel it will be realistically difficult for North Korea to completely destroy its nuclear capabilities when their nuclear and missile arsenal are at a developed stage," Moon said in a press conference in the Philippines where he is attending a regional summit.

The South Korean leader said there was no need to force North Korea to destroy its nukes before coming to talks, saying the regime can halt the program and then start denuclearization.

"If so, North Korea's nuclear program should be suspended, and negotiations could go on to pursue complete denuclearization," he said, adding that negotiations with Pyongyang could be held with all options open.

The remarks come against a backdrop of calls by Japan and the US that suggest that talks with the North would go nowhere.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tuesday at the same gathering of leaders from the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and East Asia Forum in Manila that North Korea was still developing its missile program despite a two-month pause seen in the firing of long-range missiles from the country.

Abe said that was enough to believe that holding talks with the North would be useless.

"There is no point for talks for the sake of talks," he said, adding, "I believe that it continues to develop its weapons."

Abe, like US president Donald Trump, is on the opinion that more and more sanctions should be imposed on North Korea to soften up its government. Trump has also traded threats with North Korean government officials, saying time for talking with Pyongyang, a policy that his predecessors pursued, was over.

The stand-off over North Korea escalated in July when it test-fired two intercontinental ballistic missiles that experts say can reach the mainland United States. Pyongyang also carried out its most powerful nuclear test in August, prompting the US and allies to pile more economic and military pressures on the country.

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