China says 'dual suspension' proposal still best for North Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits a factory in this undated

On July 4, North Korea launched its first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile in an attempt to come up with a powerful weapon that could reach "anywhere in the world".

The pause follows 15 missile tests and one hydrogen bomb explosion within nine months. That's according to a report released Thursday by 38North, a North Korea monitoring project based out of Washington, DC. North Korea has not commented on the defection.

An official from South Korea's top spy agency, the National Intelligence Service, told lawmakers on Thursday that North Korea has not secured the key technologies needed to build a ballistic missile that can survive a return through the atmosphere, the Yonhap news agency reported yesterday, citing a "parliamentary source".

Pyongyang now faces U.N. Security Council sanctions aimed at punishing it for its nuclear and missile provocations, including its sixth nuclear test staged September 3.

Global sanctions, droughts, and disastrous internal management mean food shortages are a big problem in North Korea.

Trump, who had previously called negotiations with North Korea a waste of time, has offered no clear path to talks.

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Seoul's Foreign Ministry said Friday that South Korea's special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs Lee Do-hoon and his U.S. counterpart Joseph Yun focused on finding a peaceful and diplomatic solution to the North Korean nuclear issue as agreed upon by President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump.

"President Xi recognizes that a nuclear North Korea is a grave threat to China, and we agreed that we would not accept a so-called "freeze-for-freeze" agreement like those that have consistently failed in the past", Trump said during a briefing on Wednesday.

Lee Min-bok, a North Korean agriculture expert, said: "Chemical fertiliser was supplied by the state until the 1970s, but from the early 1980s, production started to decrease". Such a move would trigger more sanctions and represent a shift after a 2008 decision by then President George W. Bush to lift the designation as part of an effort to use diplomacy.

In an interview with Reuters, Han Tae Song, North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, brushed off the new sanctions which the Trump administration says it's preparing, as well as the possibility of North Korea being added to a U.S. list of states sponsoring terrorism.

"As long as there is continuous hostile policy against my country by the U.S. and as long as there are continued war games at our doorstep, then there will not be negotiations", he said.

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