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Author Gordon Chang: Now Not Time for Talks With NKorea

Image: Author Gordon Chang: Now Not Time for Talks With NKorea
North Korean missiles on parade. (AP)

By    |   Saturday, 13 May 2017 07:49 PM

North Korea's latest missile test-firing might be "an attempt to start dialogue" with South Korea and the United States, author Gordon Chang said Saturday, but "now is not the time to start negotiations with North Korea."

"What they were doing was essentially trying to intimidate the new president of South Korea," Chang, author of "The Coming Collapse of China," told Fox News in an interview.

"He wants to establish dialogue with the North," he added, referring to President Moon Jae-in, who took office on Wednesday. "Oftentimes, the North will try to give the South Koreans a hard time in order to give them incentive to start talking.

"We also know the Trump administration wants to talk to Kim Jong Un. This gives everybody a reason to sit down and try to cool off matters.

"Therefore, I think it's an attempt to start dialogue.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said that Pyongyang fired the missile off the country's west coast early Sunday that flew about 430 miles. North Korea last tested an intermediate-range missile in the area in February.

Fox News reported Saturday that Pentagon officials confirmed the missile firing.

Japan said the missile flew for 30 minutes and dropped in the sea between the North's east coast and Japan.

The firing was the latest in a series of tests by Kim as he pursues a nuclear-tipped missile that can reach the U.S. mainland.

The Trump administration has called the tests unacceptable and has swung between threats of military action and offers to talk.

A top North Korean diplomat said Saturday that Pyongyang was willing to meet with the Trump officials "if the conditions are set."

Despite Pyongyang's efforts to start any possible talks with Moon or President Donald Trump, Chang warned that "now is not the time to start negotiations with North Korea.

"The only time you do that is when the North Koreans realize that they have no choice but to give up their nukes and missiles."

That can only occur if the U.S. "has the political will," Chang said, which includes tougher economic sanctions on North Korea, and even slapping them on China for transferring weapons technology to Pyongyang.

"The sanctions on the North are meant to bring North Korea to its senses, not to its knees," he said. "North Korea is not coming to its senses, so we need to bring them to their knees.

"If China doesn't help us — so far they've helped a little bit, but not enough — if they ultimately decide not to help us, then we need to start sanctioning China, especially for its transfer of ballistic missile technology to North Korea.

"We have to stop this trade.

"If we can show Beijing that we've got the political will, then we can actually get them to a better place," Chang said.

"Until we do that, I don't think the Chinese are really going to be that cooperative."

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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North Korea's latest missile test-firing might be "an attempt to start dialogue" with South Korea and the United States, author Gordon Chang said Saturday, but "now is not the time to start negotiations with North Korea.""What they were doing was essentially trying to...
Gordon Chang, talks, North Korea, US, South Korea
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2017-49-13
Saturday, 13 May 2017 07:49 PM
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