North Korea fuel prices surge after China cuts oil supplies

North Korea fuel prices surge after China cuts oil supplies

Sino-US relations have soured in recent weeks as President Donald Trump has urged Beijing to step up diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea over its nuclear and missile programmes. The move came as part of the worldwide pressure on Pyongyang to curb its nuclear and missile programs.

But Mr. Moon's overture, the first formal offer of talks since his inauguration in May, indicates he wants to use dialogue to defuse the worldwide standoff over North Korea's weapons programs, despite having condemned the North's first intercontinental ballistic missile test on July 4 and vowed a firm response. About 28,500 American troops are stationed in South Korea.

He told a briefing Monday for a group of United Nations correspondents that "dialogue for the sake of dialogue is meaningless". But the North might set a precondition for the talks, such as a suspension of annual South Korean-U.S. military drills that it views as an invasion rehearsal, according to Koh Yu-hwan, a professor at Seoul's Dongguk University.

Tongilgak is a North Korean building at the Panmunjom truce village on the border used for previous inter-Korea talks.

If realized, the talks would be the first inter-Korean dialogue since December 2015.

The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said on Sunday that Washington would crank up pressure on China to ensure it implements sanctions over the missile test. South Korean acting Red Cross chief Kim Sun Hyang told a news conference that it wants separate talks at the border village on August 1 to discuss family reunions.

Japan has slated a decision by South Korea to have "unprecedented" talks with the tyrannical regime in Pyongyang.

The European Union is considering tougher sanctions against North Korea following this month's missile launch.

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In the proposal for talks, South Korea did not elaborate on the meaning of hostile military activities, which varies between the two Koreas.

But analysts say North Korea may accept the defense talks because it wants the South Korean Army to halt loudspeaker broadcasts at the border that began after North Korea's fourth nuclear test in January 2016.

Later this month, both rivals will mark the 64th anniversary of the armistice agreement that brought an end to the Korean War.

Others EU countries, including large members such as Britain, France and Germany, are wary of allowing North Korea to use talks to divide the worldwide community.

It also states they support Seoul's efforts to engage in dialogue with Pyongyang.

North Korea says the South abducted the 12 waitresses and the restaurant manager and has demanded their return, but the South has said the group made a decision to defect of its own free will. Cho said this matter is not included on the talks agenda.

The North's foreign ministry said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency that the ICBM test was an exercise of its legitimate right to self-defense against nuclear threat from the United States.

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