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Koreas End Longstanding Communications Freeze

NYT

Read more here: Koreas End Longstanding Communications Freeze

North Korea Is Said to Be Readying Ballistic Missile Test

The South Korean defense minister, Song Young-moo, also said Monday that in recent talks he had asked the United States to deploy strategic assets including an aircraft carrier group and bombers, according to Yonhap, the South Korean news agency.It was not immediately clear what sort of missile North Korea was preparing for a possible test. It first tested its new Hwasong-14 missile on July 4 and again on July 28. The second test showed the missile had a range of about 6,500 miles, which would put the western and central United States within range.News of preparations for a possible missile test came as the South Korean Defense Ministry said the United States military would soon add four additional launchers for a missile defense system deployed in the country’s south, Yonhap reported.The financial markets in Asia ticked downward slightly on Monday following the test, with the Nikkei 225 index in Japan dropping about 1 percent at the start of trading and staying near that level before closing down about 0.9 percent. The SSEC index in China closed up about 0.4 percent.The main index of the South Korean financial markets, the Kospi 200, dropped about 1.2 percent. Gold, meanwhile, rose to its highest price in 10 months, topping $1,337 by late afternoon in Asia. Japanese government bonds, another asset considered safe, registered lower yields as investors bought in.Newsletter Sign UpContinue reading the main storyThank you for subscribing.An error has occurred. Please try again later.You are already subscribed to this email.View all New York Times newsletters.Experts were still trying to determine whether the explosion Sunday was, as North Korea claimed, caused by a hydrogen bomb. But the blast was clearly North Korea’s strongest, and it was estimated to be as much as 16 times more powerful than the North’s previous test.Hours before the test on Sunday, North Korea published photos of what it said was a hydrogen bomb capable of fitting on top of a intercontinental ballistic missile.President Trump said on Twitter that the test was an “embarrassment” to China, the North’s biggest ally and trade partner, and he criticized South Korea, an American ally, which he accused of “talk of appeasement.”Continue reading the main storyThe office of South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in, responded that it was working to exert “maximum sanctions and pressure” on the North and reiterated that its goal was “peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”Mr […]

News Analysis: What Motivations Lie Behind North Korea’s Nuclear Arsenal

Mr. Kim’s real goal may be blackmail, they argue — the sort that would be possible as soon as North Korean can put Los Angeles or Chicago or New York at risk.It may be splitting the United States away from two allies — Japan and South Korea — who wonder whether the United States would really protect them, and half-expect Mr. […]

North Korea Says It Tested a Hydrogen Bomb Meant for Missiles

But the test, which followed the launch last week of a ballistic missile over Japan into the north Pacific, prompted another shift in tone by Mr. Trump, who responded on Twitter with posts that suggested anger at the North but also frustration with China and, notably, South Korea.PhotoMr. Kim at a military parade in Pyongyang in April. He has made building a nuclear arsenal a top priority.Credit Wong Maye-E/Associated Press“North Korea is a rogue nation which has become a great threat and embarrassment to China, which is trying to help but with little success,” he said. “South Korea is finding, as I have told them, that their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing!”The president’s options are limited. Although the Pentagon has revised its military options for strikes against missile and nuclear sites, and Mr. Trump’s aides have talked about how a “preventive war” might be necessary, the risk of rekindling the Korean War looms large.South Korea, which has urged talks to resolve the crisis, is particularly vulnerable because much of its population is within range of the North’s artillery […]

North Korea Used Multiple-Rocket Launchers to Test Missiles

The Pacific Command previously said that two of the North Korean missiles had “failed in flight.” But that assessment was later retracted, and the amended view agreed with the South Korean military’s evaluation of the distance the projectiles had traveled.The three missiles were 300-millimeter rockets fired from a multiple-tube launcher, said Yoon Young-chan, a spokesman at the Blue House, South Korea’s presidential office, where the country’s National Security Council met on Saturday to discuss the tests.North Korea has alarmed South Korean defense officials before with tests of its 300-millimeter rockets and displays of an eight-tube version of the system during military parades. The officials say the North has developed the multiple-tube launchers because they are cheaper than short-range, Scud-type ballistic missiles and because they enable more projectiles to be fired.GraphicCan North Korea Actually Hit the United States With a Nuclear Weapon?Six systems that North Korea needs to master to achieve a long-sought goal: being able to reliably hit the United States.OPEN GraphicNorth Korea keeps thousands of rocket launchers, as well as long-range artillery pieces, along the border with the South, threatening to rain down a “sea of fire” on South Korean cities and islands near the border. The old 240-millimeter rockets have an estimated range of 37 miles, putting Seoul, a capital with 10 million people, within reach.Kim Dong-yub, a defense analyst at the Institute for Far Eastern Studies at Kyungnam University in Seoul, said the tests on Saturday appeared to be aimed at expanding the strike range.Nevertheless, the nature of the tests prompted some relief in the region.The missiles flew to the northeast, not toward Guam, home to major United States Air Force and Navy bases. North Korea threatened to launch ballistic missiles in a “ring of fire” around Guam after President Trump threatened to hit the North with “fire and fury” if it persisted with its development of ICBMs.Newsletter Sign UpContinue reading the main storyThank you for subscribing.An error has occurred […]

South Korea Says U.S. Promises Coordination in Standoff With North

figure.prepend(style); }); }); South Korea’s emphasis on transparency on Friday followed a series of statements opposing an armed conflict with the North. Although most South Koreans loathe the repressive regime in the North and its nuclear pursuit, they also are afraid that the South has more to lose in a war than the impoverished North, a fear that the regime of Kim Jong-un, the North’s leader, has been using as leverage. After Mr. Moon talked with Mr. Trump on the phone on Monday, his office said he emphasized that “South Korea can never accept a war erupting again on the Korean Peninsula.” On Thursday, his office said the escalation of military tensions or an armed clash would “not help any country.” Leaders of Mr […]

A Timely Guide to the North Korea Crisis

People who live in Guam and the nearby Northern Mariana Islands talked about finding themselves suddenly in the cross hairs.PhotoA United States Air Force airplane at the Osan U.S. Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, on Thursday, as tension with North Korea remained high.Credit Yonhap, via Associated PressThe reaction from other countriesAsian officials — particularly in countries like Japan and South Korea that would be most vulnerable to North Korean aggression — reacted to Mr. Trump’s comments with alarm, saying a war that once seemed unthinkable was now a possibility. Markets were rattled, too, and stocks fell on Wednesday.China, however, appeared to see an opening to present itself as the adult in the room and increase its regional influence.Newsletter Sign UpContinue reading the main storyThank you for subscribing.An error has occurred. Please try again later.You are already subscribed to this email.View all New York Times newsletters.Experts said there was little precedent for Mr. Trump’s language. Previous American presidents who confronted problems with North Korea, like Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson and Bill Clinton, had issued sharp warnings while in office, but their wording was carefully considered, and they also used diplomacy to try to defuse crises.What happens next?Mr. Trump’s advisers are divided on how to proceed, and it is not clear what Mr […]