Thursday, September 21, 2017

North Korea Could Seek Nuclear-powered State Status
By Liu Xin
Global Times
2017/9/22 0:56:10

More nations urging talks to resolve crisis

North Korea may seek nuclear-powered nation status during its foreign minister's speech at the UN General Assembly on Friday, which the international community is likely to reject as more countries unite in calling for peaceful ways to resolve the nuclear crisis, an expert said.

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho flew to New York from Beijing on Wednesday to attend the UN General Assembly meeting. He is scheduled to address the global gathering on Friday and meet with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday, South Korea's Yonhap News reported.

"Ri may protest US President Donald Trump's speech on Tuesday and warn Washington not to act rashly. And he would also express North Korea's intention to be recognized as a nuclear-powered state," Lü Chao, a research fellow at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

In his speech at the UN General Assembly, President Trump said the US "will have no choice but to totally destroy" North Korea unless Pyongyang refrains from nuclear tests and missile launches.

Speaking to reporters in front of his hotel, Ri said that "if he was thinking he could scare us with the sound of a dog barking, that's really a dog dream."

"Considering the escalating verbal battle between North Korea and the US, there is little chance for the two countries to arrange meetings during Ri's stay in New York," Lü said, but added that US and  North Korea representatives may have some contact.

Lü said that the international community would never accept North Korea as a state with nuclear weapons as nuclear nonproliferation is a trend. "More countries, which used to consider the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue as none of their business, have paid attention to the problem and  have begun to make efforts to resolve it."

Guterres appealed on Tuesday for statesmanship to avoid war with North Korea and criticized world leaders stoking resentment over refugees for political gain, two apparent digs at Trump, Reuters reported.

He said the North Korean crisis must be resolved in a political process. "This is the time for statesmanship."

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and US Vice President Mike Pence met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on Thursday, with Wang stressing that a peaceful settlement to the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue is consistent with the will of the international community.

Wang and Pence said that both sides "acknowledged the important consensus on the denuclearization of the peninsula" and agreed to enhance communication over the issue, the Xinhua News Agency said.

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