North Korea Trade with China Rises Despite Sanctions

In response to North Korea's latest missile test, the US and South Korea conducted live-fire bombing exercises along the DMZ, making one wonder who's really provoking whom?

According to a report by Xinhua, South Korean Vice Defense Minister Suh Choo-suk proposed to Pyongyang holding talks of the military authorities on Friday at Tongilgak, a building in the North side of the truce village of Panmunjom.

South Korea offered Monday to talk with North Korea to ease animosities along their tense border and resume reunions of families separated by their war in the 1950s.

If the government meeting goes ahead, it will mark the first official inter-Korea talks since December 2015.

But Pyongyang has staged a series of missile launches in violation of United Nations resolutions - most recently on July 4, when it test-fired its first ICBM, a move which triggered global alarm and a push by United States President Donald Trump to impose harsher UN sanctions. South Korean acting Red Cross chief Kim Sun Hyang told a news conference that it wants separate talks at the border village on August 1 to discuss family reunions.

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The timing and scope of the US action will depend heavily on how China responds to pressure for tougher steps against North Korea when USA and Chinese officials meet for a high-level economic dialogue in Washington Wednesday, the administration sources told Reuters. South Korea's Red Cross said on Monday, July 17, 2017, it wants separate talks at the border village on August 1 to discuss family reunions.

It is the first formal offer of military talks since South Korean President Moon Jae-in came to power in May, who pledged to reduce friction and engage with Pyongyang during his successful election campaign.

After the ICBM launch, Kim said he would never negotiate over his weapons programs as long as US hostility and nuclear threats persist. In other words, the United States is overhyping the extent of the supposed threat posed by North Korea, possibly in order to justify its controversial THAAD deployment in South Korea.

Meanwhile, Japan said in a draft White Paper on defence for this year that the threat from North Korea is rising to a new level, as the country makes headway in its missile and nuclear programme, the Nikkei Asian Review reported.

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