S Korea offers rare talks with North on tensions, family reunions

Prospects for talks on family reunions are less promising because North Korea has previously demanded that South Korea repatriate some North Korean defectors living in the South before any reunions take place, according to analysts.

Tongilgak is a North Korean building at the Panmunjom truce village on the border used for previous inter-Korea talks.

It is obvious that North Korea is racing to produce as many nuclear weapons as possible as the Trump administration increases pressure on China and Russian Federation to halt the North's nuclear activities.

North Korea on Friday threatened to take "corresponding measures" if the UN Security Council adopts another sanctions resolution in response to the North's test-launch of an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) on July 4.

The volume of economic ties today is limited, though some experts hope that trade with North Korea could grow if USA sanctions are lifted and Pyongyang decides to open its economy.

The inflow of dollars is reported to be important for the country to finance its nuclear and missile programmes, more so because of global sanctions against the Kim regime.

The North Korean ICBM could be capable of reaching Alaska, but weapons experts say the North still needs to master several more technologies before the missile will work perfectly.

Anthony Ruggiero, a former deputy director of the U.S. Treasury Department, said the visit could send a signal to Myanmar the United States is watching.

But for Seoul, the deterrent is already there.

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Rightly so because there are nearly a hundred thousand Filipino workers in South Korea. The capital city of Seoul with its 10 million residents is within the range of North Korea's artillery along the border. "I think they would only use this particular weapon in a Hail Mary- the state is collapsing, the regime is gone kind of situation".

One study from 2012 estimated that 64,000 people could be killed by this artillery in the first day. "They've got to make a serious move towards denuclearizing their country before it is right for us to begin a proper dialogue". North Korea gets most of its fuel from China, with some coming from Russian Federation.

But here, too, there's a problem.

"South Korean authorities should not persistently depend on outsiders...but opt for improving the North-South relations and achieving independent reunification by pooling efforts with the compatriots in the North". And during that time, it appears to have become more determined to pursue its weapons system. In some cases, the propaganda angle is not hard to decipher, but more common is North Korea's attempts to appeal to collectors and secure a crucial source of foreign currency.

In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang reiterated China's opposition to unilateral sanctions outside the framework of the United Nations and said China had been fully enforcing United Nations resolutions.

The so-called secondary sanctions now being considered are a way for the U.S. to apply targeted economic pressure on companies in countries with ties to North Korea by denying them access to the USA market and financial system.

Sanctions do still seem to be the favored option for the U.S. There are signs that the Trump administration is hoping to increase sanctions effectiveness by getting more creative - targeting Chinese firms and individuals involved in trade with North Korea, or smaller countries like Sudan that still have an economic relationship with Pyongyang.

The drawback of such efforts, Reif said, is that they could influence the types of weapons that far more powerful adversaries Russian Federation and China develop. Even being charitable, Beijing and Moscow's commitment to sanctions has been halfhearted. Moscow supports placing limitations on the North's nuclear program but is wary of sanctions and resolutely opposed to regime change.

This year, House Republicans proposed that the Pentagon conduct research and development on space-based missile defense interceptors - a version of the "Star Wars" system that President Ronald Reagan championed in the 1980s as a deterrent against Soviet nuclear missiles.

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