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South Korea's Moon says 'high possibility' of conflict with North

20 Mai 2017

"No one is immune to the threat of North Korea", she told reporters before the emergency closed-door consultations by the UN Security Council on the North's weekend ballistic missile launch, which experts said demonstrated a significant technological jump with the rocket flying higher and for a longer period of time.

I am willing to go anywhere for the peace of the Korean Peninsula", Moon said last week, "If needed, I will fly immediately to Washington.

Philippine government on Thursday reiterated its call to North Korea to cease missile tests, saying these are considered acts of provocation. The Foreign Ministry on Monday briefed envoys of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) member-states on the present situation.

"North Korea launched a missile four days ago and claims to have succeeded in launching an intermediate-range ballistic missile", said Moon, speaking at the South Korean Defense Ministry.

Moon also said North Korea's nuclear and missile capabilities seemed to have advanced rapidly recently but that South Korea was ready and capable of striking back in the event of an attack.

On the respected 38 North website, aerospace engineering specialist John Schilling said it appeared to be an intermediate-range ballistic missile that could "reliably strike the US base at Guam" in the Pacific, 3,400 kilometres away.

Its latest ballistic missile firing was also the first one to be detected by the THAAD, the advanced U.S. missile defense system, which is already operational in South Korea, and can intercept ballistic missiles launched by the regime of Kim Jong-un.

Asked if North Korea's missile program was developing faster than the South had expected, he said: "Yes".

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Guiding a long-range missile to a target on return to Earth is a key technological hurdle that North Korea must overcome in trying to flawless a missile that could threaten the United States. Pyongyang hailed as a success the launch that was aimed at testing its missiles' ability to carry a heavy warhead, a measure it says it needs to counter USA hostility.

Hong also held a separate one-on-one meeting with National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster to discuss pending issues between the two countries, including nuclear and missile tensions with North Korea and the deployment of THAAD.

Trump later said he would be "honored" to meet the North's leader, Kim Jong Un, under the right conditions.

Countries must decide whether they support North Korea or those opposed to its nuclear and missile programs, U.S. Ambassador the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Tuesday, vowing to "call out" states backing Pyongyang. If it's under the, again, under the right circumstances.

However, he has also said he is open to talks with Mr Kim.

North Korea has feted the scientists and technicians behind its latest missile launch with a parade on the streets of Pyongyang, the state news agency reported on Friday.

He then urged the North to trust the US for once.

South Korea's Moon says 'high possibility' of conflict with North