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North Korea not the pariah we think it is

North Korea, on numerous occasions, has been willing to freeze the development of its nuclear weapons and missile systems in return for the United States stopping its threatening military manoeuvres on the country's borders.

The peace-loving Barack Obama rejected this offer from North Korea in April 2016. A similar offer was rejected by George W Bush in December 2003.

And, just this month, Donald Trump rejected a "double-freeze" proposal from China on behalf of North Korea, which proposed the idea that the United States end its military exercises with South Korea near the Korean peninsula in return for North Korea ending its nuclear weapons' tests.

There is absolutely no need for war between North Korea and the United States-cum-Nato. There's a long history of bi-national negotiations between North Korea and the United States (see website of the Arms Control Association: www.armscontrol.org).

North Korea, a lot of the time, is portrayed as some reclusive, unapproachable, pariah state, but this is a distortion of the facts.

The West should be doing everything to help the North Korean people, rather than play the role of provocateur.

And let's not forget that, in the early-1950s, the United States bombed North Korea mercilessly and indiscriminately (including the bombing of hydroelectric and irrigation dams) to the point where US Air Force commanders were complaining that they'd run out of targets.

God bless America and North Korea.

LOUIS SHAWCROSS

Hillsborough, Co Down

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