12 May 17. North Korea says will have dialogue with U.S. under right conditions – Yonhap. A senior North Korean diplomat who handles relations with the United States said on Saturday Pyongyang would have dialogue with the U.S. administration if conditions were right, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported.
Choe Son Hui, North Korea’s foreign ministry director general for U.S. affairs, made the comment to reporters in Beijing as she was travelling home from Norway, Yonhap said.
“We’ll have dialogue if the conditions are there,” she told reporters when asked if the North was preparing to hold talks with the Trump administration, according to Yonhap.
When asked if North Korea was also preparing to talk with the new government in South Korea, of liberal President Moon Jae-in, Choe said: “We’ll see.”
The comments by Choe, who is a veteran member of the North’s team of nuclear negotiators, came amid stepped up international efforts to press North Korea and ease tension over its pursuit of nuclear arms.
U.S. President Donald Trump warned in an interview with Reuters in late April that a “major, major conflict” with the North was possible, but he would prefer a diplomatic outcome to the dispute over its nuclear and missile programmes.
Trump later said he would be “honoured” to meet the North’s leader, Kim Jong Un, under the right conditions.
Choe was in Norway for so-called Track Two talks with former U.S. government officials, according to Japanese media, the latest in a series of such meetings.
A source with knowledge of the latest meeting said at least one former U.S. government official took part but the U.S. administration was not involved.
South Korea’s Moon, elected this week on a platform of a moderate approach to North Korea, has said he would be willing to go to Pyongyang under the right circumstances and said dialogue must be used in parallel with sanctions to resolve the problem over North Korea’s weapons.
North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests in defiance of U.N. and U.S. sanctions and is also developing long-range missiles to deliver atomic weapons.
It says it needs such weapons to defend itself against U.S. aggression.
12 May 17. New senate report recommends Canadian Navy to procure 12 new AIP submarines. The Canadian standing senate defence committee has released a new report recommending that the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) should purchase 12 new submarines equipped with air-independent propulsion (AIP).
The report has been titled ‘Reinvesting in the Canadian Armed Forces: A plan for the future’, and suggests procurement of the vessels should begin before the end of 2018.
It also specifies that the 12 submarines should be positioned equally across both coasts, with six on each.
The recommended capability enhancement would allow Canada to effectively defend any sea and air approaches to its territory, as well as protect the country’s maritime sovereignty, including in the Arctic.
Members of the committee have also noted that the defence spending will increase to 2% of Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2028.
Additionally, the report calls for the navy to acquire a second Resolve-class auxiliary oiler replenishment (AOR) vessel by next year in order to meet an urgent capability gap on each Canadian coast.
The report also outlines that sufficient funding must be provided for the purchase of 18 new surface combatant vessels through the National Shipbuilding Strategy, with nine vessels deployed on each of the two coasts.
Further, it advises the RCN to integrate an adequate number of the surface combatant vessels with the Aegis battle system or a similar solution.
The senate report also suggests speeding up the replacement of maritime coastal defence vessels with minesweepers and destroyers that are more readily capable of protecting the Canadian seas.
In addition, the Canadian committee has expressed concerns about the capabilities of the Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships (