South Korea pondering whether to provide North Korea oil for Olympics preparation

2018 South Korean figure skaters Kim Ha-nul and Choi Da-bin wave at cameras at Incheon International Airport before departing for the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Taipei. Choi ranked fourth and Kim

North Korea slams US sanctions as wild violation of int'l law

Secretary Mattis and Minister Song endorsed the continued strengthening of combined U.S. -ROK capabilities to deter and defend against the North Korean threat.

South Korea's Defense Minister Song Young-moo delivers a keynote address at the sixth International Institute for Strategic Studies Fullerton forum in Singapore on Monday.

Mattis reiterated that military options remain at the ready to make sure diplomats have leverage in pressuring Pyongyang to denuclearize.

North Korea and the United State's relationship has been strained in recent months with Kim Jong-un continually threatening to attack the U.S. with his nuclear programme. "It's an global problem that requires an worldwide solution", said Mattis.

Calling North Korea's nuclear and missile programs the "most serious and imminent problem", the minister reiterated a diplomatic approach in dealing with the communist state and that the goal of worldwide sanctions was to bring the North to dialogue - not to punish the country. "We agreed to continue beefing up a strong, effective, and reliable military response posture to provide military support for the current diplomatic efforts toward denuclearization of the peninsula", it said.

2018 South Korean figure skater Choi Da-bin performs her free skate program during the Korea Figure Skating Championships at Mokdong Ice Rink in Seoul

According to the report, North Korea used the Russian Federation ports of Nakhodka and Kholmsk to transport coal on at least three occasions previous year after the UNSC banned exports of coal and other items with the August 5 passage of Resolution 2371. "And at the same time, [they remain] steadfast that the worldwide economic pressure campaign can denuclearize the Korean Peninsula".

"Diplomacy should (impose) reason on Kim's reckless rhetoric and unsafe provocations", Mattis said, referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The rival Koreas are also planning to hold pre-Olympic cultural and sports events in North Korea, which may potentially involve South Korean pop singers and also athletes flown to an airport the North has often used to test launch ballistic missiles. Russian Federation and China, both critical votes on the U.N. Security Council that backed the sanctions, stand accused of helping North Korea smuggle shipments out, with President Trump telling Reuters that Russian Federation was violating sanctions and the usa filing a report with the U.N. accusing Chinese ships of aiding the North Korean regime. "The worldwide pressure campaign must continue".

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has said all options are on the table when it comes to North Korea's pursuit of a nuclear-tipped missile capable of striking the United States. During the meeting, Song also shared information on preparations for the handover of wartime operational control of the South Korean military and progress in national defense reforms, the ministry said.

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