Published: Mon, May 22, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

North Korea says ready to deploy, mass produce new missile

Meanwhile, the South Korean Navy revealed a US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier group was to remain in the vicinity indefinitely, while Seoul's defense ministry warned it was ready to carry out a preemptive strike if it detected a missile threat from North Korea.

Lee was dispatched by South Korea's newly elected president, Moon Jae-in, to China in an attempt to keep communications open between the two countries "at a critical time".

In a separate meeting with Lee on Friday, China's top diplomat Yang Jiechi said China "hopes that South Korea can respect China's major concerns (and) appropriately resolve the THAAD issue", Xinhua reported.

Before leaving Seoul for Beijing, Lee said Moon could meet Xi as early as July at a Group of 20 summit in Germany, while a separate meeting could also be possible in August.

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China says its influence has been exaggerated and has called on South Korea and the end large-scale wargames seen as threatening by North Korea in exchange for the North suspending its missile launches and nuclear tests.

When Chinese President Xi Jinping called Moon last week to congratulate him on his election, Moon reportedly asked Xi for help in ending the economic retaliation that has taken a toll on South Korean businesses.

While the post is traditionally held by a military official, Moon said: "In the face of North Korea's nuclear threats, I believe the role of diplomacy is ever more important for our security".

Lee said Thursday during a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi that South Korea fully understands China's concern over the deployment of THAAD, which has harmed the two countries' mutual trust and exchanges, Xinhua said.

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The South Korean leader had pledged to review the hasty deployment of THAAD at a golf course in central South Korea.

Kang, who has been working at the United Nations since 2006, was the best candidate poised to "raise the status of our diplomacy by with her abundant experience on the worldwide stage and strong initiative", said Moon.

Chinese-South Korean relations deteriorated after Seoul approved the positioning of the system.

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