Chinese military jet enters South Korea air defense zone

Geneva Stokes
August 30, 2018

This summer, the Japanese concealed a meeting they held with North Korea from senior US officials, according to people familiar with the matter.

"I think he's trying to pile on to the White House message after the suspension of the Pompeo trip that the United States is not satisfied with where North Korea is right now with denuclearization", he said after a panel discussion at the Center for the National Interest (CFTNI) on Tuesday.

In a series of tweets, he also asserted that there is "no reason at this time" to spend money on war games with South Korea but warned that if they resumed, they would be "far bigger than ever before".

North Korea says the hold up is concerns the not ready to sign a formal peace treaty ending the Korean War, replacing the armistice agreement in 1953. -South Korea military exercises are scheduled for next April. In the past week, while they were talking, the USA slapped tariffs on a further US$16 billion in Chinese imports.

"We have no plans at this time to suspend any more exercises", Mattis said.

The move was broadly criticized as a premature concession to North Korea, which has resisted USA efforts to persuade it to give up its nuclear weapons.

When he called off Pompeo's planned visit last week, Trump had blamed a lack of progress toward denuclearization, but also said China was not helping as much as in the past, because of the trade dispute between Beijing and Washington.

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"To support implementing the outcomes of the Singapore Summit, and in coordination with our Republic of Korea ally, Secretary Mattis has indefinitely suspended select exercises", officials announced at the time.

Mattis did say his department will work very closely with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo toward the goal of ridding the Korean Peninsula of nuclear weapons.

USA analysts have raised concerns that Moon's eagerness to improve inter-Korean ties may undermine Washington's efforts to apply "maximum pressure" on the North to denuclearize, although Moon's aides called such fears unwarranted. Weeks before the games, the US had held the wing-level exercise Beverly Herd - which officials at the time characterized as "non-major" - with counterparts at Osan Air Base.

According to unnamed sources cited by CNN, the letter said that denuclearization talks "may fall apart" and if a compromise cannot be reached, Pyongyang could resume "nuclear and missile activities". The cancellation came hours before he was due to depart, in the company of newly appointed special envoy on North Korea Stephen Biegun.

Reports suggest that North Korea will be hosting a two-day global blockchain conference in its capital Pyongyang later this year.

He said decisions about next year's annual drills will be made "in consultation with State". North Korean officials even warned in a letter to U.S Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week that denuclearisation talks risked falling apart, USA officials told Reuters.In particular, the North wants steps toward a peace treaty. "We can't restart them on a dime".

The WaPo report notes that Japan's Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, has also broken with Trump on issues of trade.

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