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(LEAD) Pro-Pyongyang paper accuses Moon of misjudging changing status of N. Korea

All Headlines 14:53 August 02, 2017

(ATTN: ADDS more info in last 3 paras)

SEOUL, Aug. 2 (Yonhap) -- A pro-North Korean newspaper based in Japan claimed Wednesday that South Korea's leader has not understood Pyongyang's upgraded strategic status following the North's latest long-range missile tests.

The Chosun Sinbo reported that President Moon Jae-in has made a "miscalculation" about the security situation that has been re-shaped by North Korea's two tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) in July.

The paper is not North Korea's state media, but it serves as an unofficial mouthpiece for Pyongyang.

"(If the South gives up its submission to U.S.), it would be an opportunity for better inter-Korean relations and unification, but South Korea's incumbent leader misjudges the situation," the paper said. "He does not understand the change in North Korea's strategic status."

The North fired what it claimed to be a second ICBM on Friday, less than a month after a previous test, claiming that the whole U.S. mainland is within its striking range.

Moon said that the North has reached the threshold of a "red line" with the ICBM tests, vowing stern responses to the North's provocations.

Moon took office in May with vows for a dual-track approach of North Korea's denuclearization and dialogue with Pyongyang, but his rapprochement gesture including offers for talks has hit a snag.

North Korea's continued provocations have left Seoul limited room to maneuver in seeking to take a lead in resolving issues on the divided peninsula.

Seoul's unification ministry said that it is not mulling over the dispatch of a special envoy to the North as Pyongyang has kept mum on its proposals for military and family reunions talks with deadlines for those talks having passed.

"Currently, the government is not considering making a new offer for talks," Baik Tae-hyun, ministry spokesman, said at a regular press briefing.

(LEAD) Pro-Pyongyang paper accuses Moon of misjudging changing status of N. Korea - 1


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