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South Korean Ministry Assessment for 2018: North Korea Likely To Engage U.S. in Talks

Dec. 26, 2017 (EIRNS)—Reporting on their assessment for 2018, South Korea’s Ministry of Unification said North Korea will try to pursue talks with U.S. while maintaining its nuclear and missile capability.

"North Korea may continue to advance its nuclear and missile capabilities while searching for an outlet externally. In searching for the recognition of its status as a de facto nuclear-possessing state, [the North] would explore the possibility of negotiations with the U.S.,"

the ministry said, according to Yonhap, reported Sputnik. This is part of the Ministry’s assessment for 2018.

According to the Ministry, Pyongyang is also likely to try to engage with South Korea in a bid to restore inter-Korean relations next year.

The Ministry also said the new sanctions against the North are starting to bite, with North Korea’s trade turnover with China having dropped 10.2% since January to $4.67 billion, while domestic gas prices have risen almost three times as a result of the United Nations Security Council restricting oil exports to the country.