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Koreas Hold Preparatory Talks Ahead of Landmark Summit

08 April 2018

The report to the Commons defence select committee also warned the United Kingdom has a "limited" missile defence system.

The rival Koreas have begun preparatory talks to set up a summit later this month among North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in amid a worldwide diplomatic drive to resolve tensions on the North's atomic plan.

South Korean officials have said the summit will focus on North Korea's nuclear disarmament, although the North hasn't confirmed this through its state-run media.

The report, entitled Rash or Rational?: North Korea and The Threat It Poses, argues that the country has significantly stepped up its nuclear testing over the past 24 months.

"We have seen a gradual advancement in their ballistic missile technology demonstrated over the last few years".

MPs began gathering evidence for their report in September, around the time when Pyongyang was celebrating the "perfect success" of its sixth test with a hydrogen bomb.

The weapons could potentially carry nuclear warheads and Britain has only a limited missile defence system if an attack was launched, according to a report by the Commons Defence Select Committee. "Our judgment is that it will probably be six to 18 months before they have an ICBM capability that is capable of reaching the coast of the United States or indeed ourselves".

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However, tensions on the peninsula have showed increasing signs of easing in recent months after the North proposed summits with the South and their "imperialist enemy" the US.

"The U.S. White House's purposeful attempts to undermine the viability of the Kim Jong Un regime and the demonstration of its readiness for the removal of the North Korean leadership through the use of force are pushing Pyongyang towards adventurist steps".

The document called North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un "ruthless" but "rational" and claimed he can be dissuaded from using nuclear weapons through a policy of "deterrence and containment". "He is therefore unlikely to give them up now".

The United States, China and South Korea are now pursuing three different North Korea strategies.

"The constant instigation of the situation and the demonstration of the military force may lead to incidents and even an armed conflict whose consequences may affect the entire region".

And it warned North Korea might pass on its nuclear know how to other rogue states or terror groups.

Koreas Hold Preparatory Talks Ahead of Landmark Summit