Sunday, 16 December, 2018

United Nations says China played important role in Korean Peninsula situation

After Trump-Kim summit China says sanctions against North Korea could be easedMore After Trump-Kim summit China says sanctions against North Korea could be easedMore
Steven Clarke | 14 June, 2018, 22:00

"And I think we shouldn't be moving too fast with the resumption of inter-Korea cooperation projects and all these exchanges will have to wait until we're absolutely sure North Korea is taking substantial steps toward denuclearization".

President Moon Jae-in talks on the phone with U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday.

After North Korea last month invited foreign journalists to witness the closure of its Pungyye-ri nuclear test site, Guterres complained that worldwide experts should have been there.

Both Trump and Kin Jong Un have already arrived in Singapore. Indeed, as Moon has been a key mediator between the two volatile leaders, a favourable outcome, specifically an official end to the 1953 Korean War and denuclearisation, could see his domestic and worldwide reputation skyrocket.

"I do believe North Korea will be more open toward the United States and an global relationship", he said. The South has noted an average annual growth rate of 7 percent in recent years and is ranked as the world's twelfth-largest economy in GDP terms. It would also bring a host of problems, given the malnourished state of many of North Korea's people and its poor health system.

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Whether Trump is willing to make that move is unknown. The present round of diplomacy again coincides with stresses in the North's economy. He says people in South Korea are hopeful these talks will end the Korean War. State Department report in 2017, military expenditure accounted for between 13 percent and 23 percent of North Korea's GDP during the years 2005 to 2015.

South Korea's trade volume was $1.07 trillion in 2013, while North Korea reported $7.3 billion.

The challenge of rebuilding North Korea's infrastructure would be huge. From 2009 to 2013 official North Korean trade tripled, from about $1 billion to over $3 billion. China accounts for 90 percent of Pyongyang's trade, making it North Korea's overwhelming economic lifeline. The South's aging population is one of its greatest economic challenges, and North's lower median age and higher fertility rate would greatly improve the demographic picture. In September 2005 the parties agreed that DPRK would "abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs". USA hardliners saw this as a pressure tactic; North Korea saw it as another example of US bullying.

But even if the two don't come to an agreement on nuclear weapons, the summit might not be a complete loss.

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