Trump says NK talks go­ing ahead de­spite mis­sile test

The Korea Times - - FRONT PAGE -

WASH­ING­TON (AFP) — U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump brushed off North Korea’s test of a sea-launched bal­lis­tic mis­sile, say­ing Thurs­day that planned nu­clear talks with Py­ongyang will go ahead.

“They want to talk and we’ll be talk­ing to them,” Trump told re­porters at the White House in his first pub­lic re­ac­tion to North Korea’s claim to have en­tered a “new phase” with the test of a sub­ma­rine-launched mis­sile.

“We’ll see,” Trump added, when asked if the test had gone too far for him.

The launch was by far the most sig­nif­i­cant since Py­ongyang first be­gan a dialogue with Wash­ing­ton in 2018 over pres­sure to give up its nu­clear weapons.

An­a­lysts said the new ca­pa­bil­ity, if con­firmed, marks a sig­nif­i­cant step in boost­ing that pro­gram.

“We as­sess that it was a short- to medium-range bal­lis­tic mis­sile. And I would say that we have no in­di­ca­tion that it was launched from a sub­ma­rine but rather a sea-based plat­form,” a U.S. mil­i­tary spokesman, Colonel Pat Ry­der, told re­porters.

Trump has said he sees no prob­lem with a string of short range rocket tests con­ducted pre­vi­ously by North Korea, while in­sist­ing his per­sonal ties with the North’s leader Kim Jong-un re­main good.

The num­ber of North Korean women dy­ing dur­ing preg­nancy and in child­birth dropped steadily be­tween 2000 and 2017 but is still eight times higher than that of the South, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent U.N. re­port.

North Korea’s ma­ter­nal mor­tal­ity fell to 89 per 100,000 births in 2017 from 91 in 2015, ac­cord­ing to the re­port jointly is­sued by the United Na­tions Pop­u­la­tion Fund, UNICEF, the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion and the World Bank in Septem­ber this year.

Ma­ter­nal mor­tal­ity refers to the num­ber of deaths due to com­pli­ca­tions from preg­nancy or child­birth.

The rate in North Korea is sig­nif­i­cantly lower than the global av­er­age of 211 deaths per 100,000.

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