North Korea Sends Delegation to Russia for Forum with South Korean President

South Korean President Moon Jae-in attends a meeting of the National Security Council at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, June 8, 2017. North Korea fired several suspected short-range anti-ship missiles Thursday, South Korea's military said, in a continuation of defiant launches as it seeks to build …
Yonhap via AP

North Korean authorities sent a delegation to Russia on Monday to participate in a regional forum led by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, the North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will also attend the Third Oriental Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia, as South Korean authorities seek to pressure Russia into imposing further sanctions against the North Korean regime.

However, Putin warned last week that further pressure against the North Korean regime could provoke a devastating war on the Korean Peninsula.

“In Russia’s opinion, the calculation that it is possible to halt North Korea’s nuclear missile programs exclusively by putting pressure on Pyongyang is erroneous and futile,” Putin wrote.

Meanwhile, the North Korean delegation will be led by the regime’s minister of external economic relations, Kim Yong-jae.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in confirmed that North Korean officials would also be present at the forum but did not say whether they would talk.

Relations between the North and the South have marginally improved since Moon’s rise to the presidency in May, with North Korea celebrating his election due to his left-wing politics and pledge to hold talks with the North.

North Korea’s state-controlled Rodong Sinmun newspaper wrote in an editorial:

The tragic North and South Korean relationship had been brought on by the conservative groups, which have been in power for the past 10 years. They revived the period of confrontation and maximized the political and military confrontation. If the conservative clique is to come into power again, the tragedy will be extended

The event follows reports that North Korea conducted its sixth test of an immensely powerful hydrogen bomb, describing it as a “perfect success,” leading to international condemnation.

President Donald Trump warned of a potential trade war should tensions continue to escalate.

“The United States is considering, in addition to other options, stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea,” Trump wrote on Twitter, widely interpreted as a veiled threat against China, whose economy heavily relies on trade with the United States.

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