Korea expert Cha no longer considered for US envoy to Seoul

Feb 05, 2018, 00:44

The letter also accused the Trump administration of aggravating an already volatile situation by deploying nuclear powered Nimitz-class super-carrier strike groups in proximity to North Korea.

US security officials said they were unaware of any specific threats and were confident the South Koreans would provide a secure Olympics.

"It is possible we could be in a crisis in which people will die and this could happen very quickly at any time", Gallucci said.

"I thought only high-level officials in South Korea could see a North Korean in person, but I think I can see them here so I'm excited", Choi said.

He went on to call media reports about why Cha's nomination was withdrawn merely "speculative", but added, "One thing that is sure is that there is no difference in our stance between South Korea and the United States on North Korea policy, and the two sides are closely coordinating and cooperating on this".

Aides to former president Barack Obama said they do not recall him meeting with defectors.

Former President George W. Bush met with defectors in the Oval in 2006, during the Six-Party Talks with the North, the United States, South Korea, China, Japan and Russian Federation.

In the past year tensions reached fever pitch as Pyongyang carried out a series of weapons tests - including intercontinental ballistic missiles that brought the US mainland into range, and its most powerful nuclear blast to date - while leader Kim Jong-Un and US President Donald Trump traded personal insults and threats of war.

However, Trump has exchanged insults and threats with Kim and US officials have said he and his advisers have discussed a preventative "bloody nose" strike on North Korea, alarming experts who warn that this could trigger catastrophic retaliation, especially on South Korea.

Last month, North Korea announced that it will celebrate the army foundation day on February 8 starting this year instead of the country's past celebration on April 25.

A separate South Korean defense official told CNN the joint exercises would not be scaled back despite the unusual delay.

Torture and imprisonment is standard, and some North Koreans are publicly executed, Lee said she would tell Trump.

TOKYO (Reuters) - The U.S. special envoy on North Korea on Thursday said all options remained on the table for solving the nuclear standoff with the reclusive country but that he did not think the military option was close.

"Both leaders agreed on the need to intensify the worldwide maximum pressure campaign to denuclearise North Korea", the White House statement said.

Reuters/Korea News ServiceNorth Korea's military personnel parade with a portrait of North Korea's late leader Kim Il-sung in central Pyongyang April 25, 2007.

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