With talks with China and the US, South Korea is trying to help N.Korea move forward – Community News
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With talks with China and the US, South Korea is trying to help N.Korea move forward

South Korea will address North Korea separately on Thursday with two different audiences, holding talks with Beijing’s top diplomat in China and visiting US military leaders in Seoul. In China, South Korean President Moon Jae-in is expected to hope for a statement to end the 1950-1953 Korean War. The conflict ended with a truce and not a peace treaty.

In Seoul, US and South Korean top executives are expected to discuss ways to strengthen a military alliance whose main goal is to deter conflict with Pyongyang, and be prepared to fight one if that fails. “Unfortunately, our mission to ensure peace on the Korean peninsula remains unfinished. We have piles of tasks ahead of us,” South Korean Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum told US and South Korean military leaders during a reception on Wednesday.

North Korea has so far rejected US pleas for diplomacy since President Joe Biden took over from Donald Trump, who had three summits with leader Kim Jong-un. Seoul sees an “end of war declaration” as a way to build trust with Kim, restart stalled denuclearization talks and ultimately move towards a lasting peace agreement.

But Moon, who has tried to get in touch with North Korea during his presidency, is running out of time to reach an agreement before his term ends in May. South Korea’s national security adviser Suh Hoon will hold talks with top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi about North Korea in the Chinese city of Tianjin on Thursday, the presidential Blue House said.

Critics of Moon’s push are also concerned about the risk of giving Pyongyang a symbolic “end of war” declaration without getting anything concrete back from Kim. UPDATE WAR PLANNING

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met Suh in Seoul on Wednesday and later reiterated Washington’s commitment to the defense of South Korea in a short speech. On Thursday, Austin and General Mark Milley of the US Army, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will attend the annual military talks with South Korea. The talks are expected to focus on an update of operational planning for a potential conflict with North Korea.

“It is necessary given the circumstances and new capabilities that the alliances possess,” said a US official on condition of anonymity. “We do this all the time.” North Korea has been testing new weapons systems in recent months, including a submarine-launched ballistic missile. The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency also warned in August that North Korea’s nuclear program was moving “at full speed” with work on plutonium separation, uranium enrichment and other activities.

In a meeting on Wednesday with General In-Choul Won, the chairman of South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, Milley emphasized the U.S. commitment to provide South Korea with “comprehensive deterrence” — a reference to Washington’s pledge to ally with nuclear weapons if necessary . Another topic expected to top the agenda in Seoul is South Korea’s wartime efforts to gain operational control of the combined forces.

Currently, an American general would command these troops during a war. Progress toward that transition has been slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic. (Additional reporting by Hyonhee Shin; editing by Angus MacSwan)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)