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China's Xi says willing to put South Korea ties back on track

China's Xi says willing to put South Korea ties back on track

Experts say the "medium long-range" Hwasong-12 missile the North fired on Sunday achieved a higher altitude and longer flight time than any other missile the country has tested.

But with an imputed range of 4,500 kilometres the Hwasong-12 puts U.S. bases on the Pacific island of Guam within reach.

The growing threats from the North prompted Seoul to recently deploy a powerful United States anti-missile system despite angry opposition by China that sees it as a threat to its own military capability. Third, dialogue with North Korea is possible when the circumstances are right.

Lesser than a week ago, Choi Son Hui, head of USA affairs for North Korea's foreign ministry, told media that Pyongyang would consider "dialogue" with the U.S.

North Korea has repeatedly requested that an worldwide forum of legal experts be established by the United Nations to clarify the legal basis for the UN sanctions.

Leader Kim Jong Un oversaw the launch and warned of "the worst-ever disaster" if the U.S. provoked the secrative state, claiming it is in "range of (nuclear) strikes", according to Rodong Sinmun on Monday. Conflict or even war could well follow from such thinking.

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However, the successful launch in February of the KN-15 (Pukguksong-2), a solid-fueled intermediate-range missile with a similar range to the Hwasong-12 was not met with the same fanfare, reports NK News.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in's bodyguard Choi Young-jae has taken Twitter by storm, with all eyes ogling this face in the president's security detail, dubbed as the "handsome brigade".

If Seoul is troubled by that message, then Beijing must be angered. A senior foreign policy adviser to Chinese President Xi stressed the impo. North Korea's test distracted from the message of peace and integration and reminded the world that China could not corral all its partners in support of its agenda.

The missile test is part of efforts by North Korea to build a nuclear-tipped missile with the capacity to reach the United States, a distance of approximately 4,800 miles.

Moon won an election last week campaigning on a more moderate approach to the North and said after taking office that he wants to pursue dialogue as well as pressure to stop the North's weapons programmes. China, which is never comfortable with coercive diplomacy (except in pursuit of its own national interests, such as isolating Taiwan), will use any call by the Moon government as a reason to give diplomacy a chance.

The hotline at the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone that divides the peninsula has been dormant since North Korea severed the channels after Seoul closed a joint industrial complex in the border city of Kaesong.


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