FT: Trump Gov't May Put Seoul at Risk to Protect US

North Korea is seen in Geneva

The flag of North Korea is seen in Geneva Switzerland

Even though he's the supreme leader of his country, Kim Jong Un has reportedly been living like a hunted man out of fear that the United States and South Korea are collaborating on a special forces team to take him out in case of a contingency.

President Moon, who advocates greater dialogue with South Korea's neighbours, then put forward the idea of a wider unified Olympic squad.

South Korea's new President Moon Jae-in backed proposals for a collaboration after it was suggested by sports minister Do Jong-hwan. There is considerable opposition to the US deployments of the Terminal High Altitude Are Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system in South Korea.

President Moon is also trying to manage THAAD objections from China and vocal opposition at home.

One case in point is Moon's surprise decision to halt the THAAD deployment. However, two launchers are already active and operational.

According to the expert, Moon has "little margin" to negotiate a meaningful deal with Trump, as the USA leader is caught up with a political scandal over the administration's dubious ties with Russian Federation following the dismissal of ex-FBI chief James Comey.

Since the allies announced the Korean introduction of the USA missile system a year ago, China has taken what appeared to be retaliatory measures against South Korean tourism and retail businesses, saying the platform's powerful X-band radar could spy into its territory.

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Mr Scott Snyder, a senior fellow at the Council for Foreign Relations in Washington, said the U.S. has so far been understanding, but "the sense of urgency created by North Korea's. march towards a nuclear strike capability may fray USA tolerance for domestically driven South Korean delays".

Jackson also asserted that Moon's foreign affairs approach, hijacked by a handful of progressive scholars, is "out of step" with regional and global trends to strike a meaningful deal with the US.

The request strongly suggests that Pyongyang distrusts China even though it is said their alliance is sealed with blood, in reference to the Korean War and China's role in helping to push back US forces in the conflict that raged from 1950 to 1953.

"Even today there are many Korean nationals and Americans who are detained in North Korea".

Meanwhile, Seoul's Unification Ministry revealed it would repatriate eight North Korean sailors found drifting on a broken vessel in nearby waters last week. There has been no immediate response from the North.

Relations between North and South Korea have been characterized by consistent tension. The line is used to relay messages in emergencies but since February of past year the North has not answered the phone.

Responding to renewed suggestions from South Korea that the People's Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK) return to the negotiating table, Pyongyang has warned that its program of nuclear weapons development is not subject to any debate. North Korea no doubt wants to use the nuclear program as leverage in talks. The North consistently threatens to carry out these tests when Japanese, South Korean and U.S. fleets are conducting naval drills in the region. Such demands simply show to the North it is justified in moving more quickly to ensure it can defend itself against the U.S. The U.S. has further exacerbated relations with South Korea by suggesting THAAD should be paid for by the South.

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