Pyongyang warns South Korea not to mediate North's talks with US

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Moon said earlier this week that USA and North Korean officials were holding "behind-the-scene talks" to try to set up a third summit between Trump and Kim.

'If he's done something really, really silly that personally abused the name of Kim Jong-un then that's a different story altogether, ' he said.

President Moon Jae-in said Wednesday that Washington and Pyongyang officials are holding backdoor talks to arrange a third Trump-Kim meeting, in a written interview with foreign and local press agencies.

Trump is due to fly to Seoul at the weekend for a summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, and the U.S. special representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun arrived Thursday to prepare the visit.

The Australian foreign ministry would not confirm his identity but said in a statement that it was providing consular assistance to "the family of an Australian man who has been reported as detained in North Korea".

Relations between the US and the North have reached an impasse in the wake of the breakdown of the Hanoi summit last February between Trump and Kim Jong-un.

The North Korean-run website Uriminzokkiri - which primarily targets South Korean audiences - in an article the same day claimed that Seoul should feel responsible for the now months-long deadlock in nuclear negotiations.

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"The United States doesn't have much time left if it were to move to produce results".

Australia does not have a diplomatic presence in North Korea.

Despite no meeting confirmed between Trump and Kim, chances are Stephen Biegun, Washington's top nuclear envoy for North Korea, may contact North Korean officials during his stay in Seoul.

"This particular jurisdiction, most Australians' common sense would tell them makes this a matter of the utmost seriousness", he said. "But ... from a parent's perspective, it's not good news", he added.

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Australian Finance Minister Mathias Cormann told Bloomberg Television that limited contact with North Korea meant securing details about the missing man's whereabouts was hard.

Before becoming Moon's Unification Minister in April, Kim Yeon-chul was a well-known liberal scholar who expressed passionate support for engagement and economic cooperation with North Korea and skepticism about the usefulness of sanctions.

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The North Korean statement was an apparent continuation of its displeasure with Seoul and Washington over the stalled diplomacy.

Tokyo-based Ms Morinaga also said Mr Sigley, 29, a blogger and student, was very respectful of North Korean culture and very cautious.

South Korea's foreign ministry released a statement Thursday saying it's "monitoring the situation, but there is nothing for our government to comment at this point".

He was careful to avoid political commentary on his social media platforms, instead focusing on what he called North Korea's modernisation, its food and its architecture.

Speaking at a regular monthly news briefing in Beijing, a spokesman for China's Defence Ministry suggested - as China has done previously - that sanctions could be eased on North Korea if they follow United Nations resolutions.

"(North Korea)-U.S. talks won't be held by themselves if the repeating the resumption of dialogue like a parrot without thinking about realistic proposals that are in the interests of both sides", he said.

The Chinese premier said he was happy to personally intervene in nuclear talks between the two countries.

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