Date
23 October 2018
A file photo shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visiting a facility where a new engine for an intercontinental ballistic missile was purportedly being tested. Credit: Reuters/KCNA
A file photo shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visiting a facility where a new engine for an intercontinental ballistic missile was purportedly being tested. Credit: Reuters/KCNA

Trump aware of ‘urgency’ of N Korea nuclear threat: Seoul

Donald Trump’s “clear warning” to North Korea shows that the US President-elect is aware of the urgency of the threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear program, South Korea said on Tuesday.

A foreign ministry spokesman told reporters that Trump’s comments suggest that he will not waver from a policy of sanctions against Pyongyang, Reuters reports.

“Because of our active outreach, President-elect Trump and US officials are clearly aware of the gravity and urgency of the North Korean nuclear threat,” ministry spokesman Cho June-hyuck was quoted as saying at a briefing in Seoul.

“They are maintaining an unwavering stance on the need for sanctions on North Korea and for close cooperation between South Korea and the US.”

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said on Sunday that his nuclear-capable country was close to test-launching an intercontinental ballistic missile, raising the prospect of putting parts of the US in range.

Trump dismissed the claim, saying on Twitter: “It won’t happen.”

The President-elect’s comment, his first mention of the North Korean nuclear issue since the US election in November, could be interpreted as a “clear warning” to the North, South Korean spokesman said.

The US State Department, meanwhile, said it recognizes that North Korea continues to pursue nuclear and ballistic missile technologies.

“We do not believe that at this point in time he has the capability to tip one of these (missiles) with a nuclear warhead … but we do know that he continues to want to have those capabilities and the programs continue to march in that direction,” spokesman John Kirby said.

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RA/RC

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