PN's Voice 99

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PN's Voice 99, 17.11.2016
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PN's Voice No. 99,  17. 11. 2016 
Small steps, Road to peace

Trump's Aide: No US Pre-emptive strike on N. Korea

John Bolton, considered a top candidate for secretary of state under the incoming administration of Donald Trump, said on Wednesday the U.S. won't launch a pre-emptive strike against North Korea, according to a South Korean lawmaker. Bolton, who served as a top nonproliferation official under George W. Bush and is known for hawkish views on North Korea and other security threats, made the remark when he met with a group of South Korean lawmakers, according to Rep. Na Kyung-won of the ruling Saenuri Party. Bolton even said there is "zero" chance of a U.S. preemptive attack on the North, according to Na. "He said he's well aware of how much price South Korea should pay in that case," the lawmaker said. "He said the North Korean nuclear issue is being considered a top issue of concern due to the North's nuclear tests and missile launches."

Bolton also stressed the need for thorough preparedness against attacks from the North, she said."He said he understands the seriousness of the North Korean nuclear issue, and there should be more discussions with China," Na said. Bolton also reacted negatively to holding talks with the North, she said. "He said he has no intention of sitting there (at the negotiating table). He said he's not interested in holding talks," Na said.
Source : KBS News

N. Korean Officials Contact US Experts in Geneva

North Korean officials are reportedly set to meet in Geneva with U.S. policy experts for the first time since Donald Trump's surprise election victory earlier this month. Various diplomatic sources report Pyongyang's Director-General for North American Affairs Choe Son-hui and Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations Chang Il-hun will represent North Korea Thursday afternoon local time.

Joel Wit, editor of the specialist North Korea portal "38 North," and Robert Einhorn, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, will unofficially convey U.S. positions. With no formal diplomatic ties between North Korea and the United States, so-called "track two" unofficial meetings play an important role in exchanging viewpoints between the two countries. North Korea has yet to react to Trump's election officially via its state-controlled media.
Source : KBS News

S. Korea to Develop Long-range Rocket to Counter N.K. Threats

On Wednesday South Korea approved three major defense projects, including a long-range rocket system, to help bolster its capabilities to better counter growing North Korean military threats. The government's approval comes amid mounting geopolitical uncertainties surrounding the Korean Peninsula as Pyongyang ratchets up its saber rattling and many countries in the region feel uneasy about Donald Trump's surprise victory in last week's U.S. presidential race. During the 2017-2020 period, Seoul will develop and deploy an unguided projectile that can be mounted on a new 230mm multiple rocket launch system (MRLS) built locally to deal with the North's artillery threats, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said in a statement.

In another project, the government will inject about 18.4 billion won (US$16 million) to develop the country's 3,000-ton next-generation Batch-III frigates. The warships are a continuation of the Incheon and Daegu class of ships entering the Navy but will be larger and more capable, according to DAPA.
The final project involves Seoul's F-35 fighter jet purchase program reached with Lockheed Martin Corp. and a U.S.-built communications satellite to be used for South Korea's military, he said. In September, 2014, South Korea signed a 8.3 trillion won (about US$7 billion) deal to purchase 40 F-35 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin on the condition that the U.S. defense and aerospace company will provide a satellite as part of the offset package.
Source : Yonhap News

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