PN's Voice 41

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PN's Voice 41, 07-05-2015
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PN's Voice No. 41 07.05.2015 
Small steps, Road to peace


S. Korea seeks 'New Momentum' with China on N. Korea Nuclear Talks

Hwang Joon-Kook, South Korea's top nuclear envoy, said yesterday that he will hold talks with his Chinese counterpart, Wu Dawei, about how to inject a "new momentum" to restart the long-stalled multilateral talks on North Korea's nuclear weapons program. Hwang also held talks with his U.S. counterpart, Ambassador Sung Kim, in Washington earlier this week."During a meeting with Special Representative Wu Dawei, we will hold an in-depth discussion about ways on how to inject a new momentum to resume the denuclearization talks," Hwang said. Hwang added the current situation in North Korea is "fluid," without elaborating further.

The six-party talks aimed at persuading North Korea to give up its nuclear ambition, involving South Korea, North Korea, the United States, China, Japan and Russia, have been dormant since late 2008. Since then, North Korea has advanced its nuclear capabilities by conducting its second and third nuclear tests, in 2009 and 2013 respectively. Some experts now warn that the North’s nuclear arsenal could expand to 100 bombs by 2020.

In Washington on Tuesday, Hwang told reporters that five of the nations involved in the six-party talks are now ready to hold "exploratory talks" with North Korea without any preconditions to test the communist nation's denuclearization commitment before resuming formal negotiations. Exploratory talks can take any format, multilateral or bilateral, Hwang said. Still, it remains uncertain how North Korea, which has shown no signs of abandoning its nuclear weapons program, would respond to the move by the five countries.
Source : Yonhap News, Yonhap News


N. Korean Official: Ties with China are “Precious Treasure”

Yang Hyong-Sop, vice president of North Korea's Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, touted his country's traditional alliance with China as a "precious treasure" amid concerns over chilling ties due to the North's nuclear ambition. Yang made the remarks at a meeting with Chinese Ambassador to Pyongyang Li Jinjun on Wednesday, according to a statement issued by the Chinese Embassy.

"The traditional friendship between North Korea and China, created by the older generations of leaders from both countries, is a precious treasure for both countries," Yang was quoted as telling Li. Yang also told Li that he was "very happy" to meet with the Chinese ambassador, according to the statement.

In response, Li said China wanted to see North Korea carrying forward the traditional friendship, while developing future-oriented relations. The political ties between North Korea and China remain strained due to the North's defiant pursuit of nuclear weapons, but China still serves as the North's economic lifeline and diplomatic backer at the United Nations. Since taking up office in March, the Chinese ambassador has held a series of meetings with North Korean officials, including North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Ri Gil-song and Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong-nam.

The North’s decision to make an effort to rekindle their alliance with China could be seen as a reaction to the strengthening regional alliances around them, such as the US-Japan alliance, the South Korean-US-Japan alliance and growing Chinese-Japanese ties.
Source : The Korea Herald


N. Korea Asks for Seoul's Cooperation on DMZ Crossing

The WomenCrossDMZ, a group of international women peacemakers, have had their organized march across the DMZ green lit by North Korea this week. The march across the heavily fortified inter-Korean border has been organized in a call for peace on the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea has not only stated that it will allow the event to take place, but also asked for South Korea's cooperation. Seoul's Unification Ministry said that the North Korean Committee for Solidarity with the World People sent a message via the border village of Panmunjeom on Monday, stating it will allow the event to take place and asking for Seoul's cooperation.

In the message, the North said that representatives of the WomenCrossDMZ Peace Walk 2015 will enter South Korea via Panmunjeom at 11 a.m. on May 24. Following the North's message, the South Korean unification ministry said it will discuss the issue with related agencies and take necessary measures.
Source : KBS News


Pres. Park Critical of Abe But Seeks Stable S. Korea-Japan Ties

South Korean President Park Geun-Hye criticized Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for not providing a new apology for Tokyo’s wartime actions during a visit to the U.S., but also said Seoul’s diplomacy shouldn’t be “buried in the past,” indicating a desire to improve strained ties. In her first public remarks about Mr. Abe’s recent trip to the U.S., Ms. Park said the Japanese leader had missed an opportunity to improve relations with Tokyo’s neighbors.

“Japanese Prime Minister Abe’s recent comments on history issues are being criticized in the U.S. as well for not taking advantage of a chance to strengthen trust with neighboring countries through sincere apologies about past issues, including forced wartime sex slaves,” Park said at a meeting with her top aides, according to the website of the presidential office.
Source : The Wall Street Journal


N. Korea will Attend Russian Celebrations but Kim Jong-Eun Won’t Be Present

Kim Yong Nam, president of North Korea’s Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, will attend the upcoming celebrations in Moscow of 70th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany, reported Chosun Central News Agency [KCNA] on May 4th. This come on the back of the Kremlin’s announcement, made at the end of April, the Kremlin announced that the North Korean leader Kim Jong-Eun wouldn’t be attending the event. The announcement ended months of speculation over the possibility for the young leader to make his first trip out of the country since coming into power in 2011. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced that the Kremlin was “informed of the decision via diplomatic channels" and that "the decision is connected with North Korean domestic affairs."There hasn’t been any explanation, from Moscow or Pyongyang, as to why Kim won’t be heading to Moscow.
Source : Daily NK, CNN



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