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UN chief: Denuclearization of Korean peninsula is goal

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He also called on U.S. President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson "to get serious about halting North Korea's destabilizing nuclear and ballistic missile programs by engaging in a credible and direct diplomatic campaign, combined with strict sanctions that bring North Korea to the negotiating table".

Given the recent tensions over nuclear weapons and missile tests between North Korea and the West, fears for public safety are understandably heightened.

"Our objective remains the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean peninsula", Guterres told reporters at United Nations headquarters.

Washington knows Pyongyang is trying to ease sanctions and drive a wedge between the US and South Korea.

"We actually have two other people outside and they are literally afraid of execution - they didn't want to be with cameras", the president told reporters.

Torture and imprisonment is standard, and some North Koreans are publicly executed, Lee said she would tell Trump.

If his nomination was removed due to his differences with the Trump administration over its North Korea policy, it would not be hard to guess how serious the United States is about the military option. "We have no road left". The Games are taking place between February 9 and 25.

The goal of a "bloody nose" attack would be to shock Pyongyang with a limited strike without having it escalate into an all-out war, forcing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un back to the negotiating table.

The report comes two days after Trump indicated that the USA would take tangible steps toward answering North Korea's military posturing. "These exercises ensure we are trained for combined joint operations". "But the answer is not, as some Trump administration officials have suggested, a preventive military strike".

Speculation grew after The Washington Post, which first published the news of the on Tuesday, reported that Cha had privately disagreed with US National Security Council officials, who considered the possibility of a preemptively targeting North Korea in a " " attack - a limited strike meant to send a message to the regime.

Ri added the USA can not shirk responsibility for shattering the atmosphere of improving inter-Korean relations and easing tension.

Joseph Yun, the USA special envoy on North Korea, said on Thursday he did not think the administration was close to triggering military action.

South Korea's Foreign Ministry spokesman Noh Kyu-duk said that Washington asked for Seoul's understanding over the withdrawal of Victor Cha for the ambassadorship.

Trump welcomed eight defectors - six who live in South Korea and two who live in the United States - two days after he punctuated his State of the Union address by praising Ji Seong-ho, a defector from North Korea who had been invited to watch the address from the first lady's box.

The "bloody nose" strategy can not but impact the Moon Jae-in administration's plan to use inter-Korean dialogue as a stepping stone to talks between the U.S. and the North.

North Korea criticised Pence's pending visit to the Olympics and accused Washington of halting improvements in inter-Korean relations. The other 10, including a figure skating pair, arrived in South Korea on Thursday.

Ji grew up in the 1990s when North Korea's food distribution system collapsed and scavenged coal to help his family, hoping to sell it so they would have enough money to buy food.

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