North Korea On Nuclear Weapons Program: 'There Will Not Be Negotiations'

North Korean soldiers look on as South Korean and United Nation officials visit after attending a ceremony to commemorate the 64th Anniversary of the Korean War armistice agreement at Panmunjom in the the Joint Security Area

According to a lawmaker who attended the closed-door briefing by the National Intelligence Service, it said the inspection of the North Korean military's General Political Bureau was the first of its kind in 20 years and occurred because of its "impure" attitude, which it did not describe.

According to the NIS, those punished included the powerful bureau's chief Hwang Pyong So and his deputy Kim Won Hong.

China has tried to underscore traditional ties with North Korea, making no public mention of the crisis on the Korean peninsula in a brief statement after a Beijing envoy met a senior Pyongyang official on Friday.

The ministry has accepted the request by the man surnamed Choi, a son of Ryu Mi-yong, late chairwoman of the central committee of the Chondoist Chongu Party, a North Korean minor political party.

"We have been watching the situation as we have gathered such intelligence (on the punishment)", the agency was quoted by Rep. Kim Byung-kee of the ruling Democratic Party as saying.

But analysts said Song might have limited influence given the mistrust between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Beijing.

Yonhap says the bureau is an influential organ insofar as it manages the critical personnel of other military agencies such as the Ministry of the People's Armed Forces.

A surgeon Lee Cook-jong gives a briefing during a news conference at a hospital in Suwon South Korea
Image Parasites were removed from the soldier’s small intestine including roundworms

The punishment against Hwang came as a surprise as he had been seen as one of the most powerful military figures.

In response to North Korea's test of an intercontinental ballistic missile that can theoretically strike parts, if not most, of the continental US and the regime's detonation of a staged thermonuclear bomb, the global community imposed crippling sanctions on the rogue regime, severely restricting both imports and exports and forcing countries around the world to cut ties with the North.

"(Pyongyang) has devised a system whereby party organs report people's economic hardships on a daily basis, and it has banned any gatherings related to drinking, singing and other entertainment and is strengthening control of outside information", the spy agency said, quoted in news agency Yonhap.

As to the possibility of another nuclear experiment, the NIS said there has not been any sign of an imminent test.

South Korean intelligence officers are also monitoring the North for signs of new missile launches to ratchet up the threats against the US under the guise of space development.

As to the possibility of another nuclear explosion, the NIS said there are now no signs of an imminent test. Ryu and her husband, Choe Tok-sin, who served as a foreign minister in South Korea during the 1960s, emigrated to the United States before defecting to the North in 1986.

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