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20 May 2017, 12:03 | Austin Hogan
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North Korea on Sunday launched what appeared to be its longest-range ballistic missile yet, claiming it was capable of carrying a "heavy nuclear warhead" in a test aimed at bringing the United States mainland within reach. The notion that North Korea's capabilities would keep the US from honoring its obligations under its mutual security treaties is mistaken.
State Councilor Yang Jiechi made the remarks at the opening of a second day of meetings between Chinese officials and special envoy Lee Hae-chan, a former South Korean prime minister.
A former United States official responsible for arms control has warned that North Korea is in a position to strike American territory, and all current methods to counter the threat have failed.
Lee gave Xi a hand-written letter from the popular, liberal Moon, who easily won election earlier this month to replace Park Geun-hye, who was ousted in a corruption scandal.
The summit, the first between the two leaders, will be held in Washington D.C. Moon's office said the event was aimed at "cementing personal ties" between the two.
China's Foreign Ministry, in a later statement on its website, said Wang "fully explained" China's position on THAAD and asked South Korea to handle China's reasonable concerns appropriately.
Beijing has retaliated against Seoul over THAAD by suspending visits to South Korea by Chinese tour groups and trips to China by South Korean entertainers.
South Korea is still anxious to reopen communication lines with North Korea, despite missile test last weekend, as the country's new president Moon Jae-in follows his dual-track policy of using sanctions to push denuclearisation while encouraging dialogue.
South Korea has complained that some of its companies doing business in China have faced discrimination in retaliation for the THAAD deployment.
For those living in the South Korean capital Seoul, there would be even less time to prepare should Kim Jong-un decide to target its neighbours. "We believe South Korea will bring clear measures to improve relations". Shares in AmorePacific, its largest cosmetics firm, were up 0.9 percent.
It went on to call on Pyongyang to phase out its nuclear and missile program and enforce a total ban on nuclear and missile tests, arguing that the development of missile and nuclear weapons is being carried out by Pyongyang at the expense of ordinary people, who "have great unmet need". Trump and Moon have both also warned that a major conflict with the North is possible.
It tested successfully what is considered to be an IRBM (intermediate range ballistic missile) of enhanced caliber capable of traveling up to 3,000 to 4,000 km (1,860 to 2,485 miles). His envoy for Russian Federation will leave next week.
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