Mattis: Diplomacy Should Impose Reason On North Korea's Kim

Abe Emphasizes Maximum Pressure on N. Korea

"It's an global problem that requires an worldwide solution", said Mattis.

But North Korea, which agreed to participate in the Winter Games as part of rare talks with the South, demanded a complete suspension.

Song also said that he and his American counterpart would exchange opinions on South Korean President Moon Jae-in's recent statement that the inter-Korea dialogue is ultimately meant to draw the North into talks with the United States.

China's chief envoy for North Korean affairs said Friday the reasons he hasn't visited Pyongyang are "complicated" but that China remains committed to finding a diplomatic solution to tensions over the North's nuclear weapons program.

26 cited three anonymous Western European intelligence sources as confirming that North Korea had loaded coal previous year onto boats to Russian Federation, from which it was transported to South Korea and Japan in a "likely violation of United Nations sanctions".

"The defense of South Korea is a treaty alliance with us", Mattis told reporters Thursday after traveling to Indonesia and Vietnam.

He added that the response to the threat remained "diplomacy led, backed up with military options available to ensure that our diplomats are understood to be speaking from a position of strength".

Abe reiterated his intention to attend the opening ceremony for the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, on February 9.




The U.N. Security Council banned North Korean exports of coal last August under sanctions meant to cut off an important source of the foreign currency Pyongyang needs to fund its nuclear weapon and long-range missile program.

Still, some analysts believe Pyongyang will ultimately be able to obtain a nuclear weapon that is capable of targeting the United States mainland. -South Korea coordination, as well as the preparations for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo.

North Korean women's ice hockey players (left) receive flowers from South Korean players during a welcoming ceremony after arriving at South Korea's national training center.

Last week, the International Olympics Committee and the two Koreas reached an agreement on the North's participation in next month's Winter Games in the South. Twenty-two North Korean athletes will compete in ice hockey, ice skating and skiing across five disciplines - ice hockey, figure skating, short track speedskating, cross-country skiing and alpine skiing.

He has also at various times suggested he is willing to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Sigal Mandelker, U.S. undersecretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence, criss-crossed the region this week seeking more effective cooperation on the sanctions.

"We expect South Korea's real GDP to grow by 3.0% y/y through 2019", stated Scotiabank.

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