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North Korea threatens physical actions after United Nations sanctions

12 Août 2017

The UN Security Council unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea on Saturday banning exports of coal, iron and iron ore, lead and seafood, which could slash Pyongyang's €2.5 billion export revenues by a third, severely restricting its access to vital foreign currency.

South Korea and Japan need to communicate more often in the face of missile and nuclear program of Pyongyang, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said.

The latest United Nations resolution bans North Korean exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood.

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho struck a defiant tone Monday at the ASEAN Regional Forum in Manila, Asia's largest security forum, saying that the latest round of United Nations sanctions would not stop it from developing its nuclear arsenal.

Lim Eul Chul, a North Korea expert at South Korea's Kyungnam University, said the comments by the North demonstrate how angry it is over the U.N. sanctions, but that the country is not likely to launch a pre-emptive strike against the United States. The United States had to figure out how far China and Russian Federation were willing to go.

Tillerson's reluctance to sit down with his North Korean counterpart is despite his growing push for Pyongyang to return to the negotiating table with the U.S. Tillerson said this week that such talks would have to be predicated on the North giving up its nuclear weapons aspirations and that the conditions for such talks haven't yet been met by North Korea's government.

North Korea tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) capable of hitting the USA last month, demonstrating a level of advancement that surprised even the Pentagon. "They want stability. They don't want to bring about the possibility of state collapse in North Korea, they don't want refugees streaming across the border and the last thing they want is a unified Korean state that will be closely allied to the United States, which would likely happen". "We must be tough & decisive!", Trump wrote in a post on Twitter.

Separately, South Korea says the North has rejected an offer to restart talks, dismissing it as insincere.

As a matter of urgency, Ruggiero argued, the US should punish Chinese banks and companies helping North Korea evade sanctions. Guam, more than 3,000 km (2,000 miles) to the southeast of North Korea, is home to about 163,000 people and a USA military base that includes a submarine squadron, an air base and a Coast Guard group.

Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte, who has launched a slew of sweary tirades against the U.S. in recent months, appeared to take a more conciliatory approach when he greeted secretary of state Rex Tillerson, saying he was a "humble friend" of America.

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At the ASEAN meeting, Tillerson also met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines, their first encounter since new USA sanctions on Russia were approved overwhelmingly by Congress and signed into law grudgingly by Trump.

The resolution also prohibits any new joint business ventures with North Koreans, limits existing ones and blacklists 13 new North Korean individuals and entities, including its primary foreign exchange bank.

About 35 percent of those surveyed by CBS News say they are confident in the president's ability to handle the North Korean situation.

The two ministers also held separate meetings with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi later in the day and will meet once again Monday for a tripartite gathering involving new Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono.

"The North Koreans contend that they can not relinquish their nuclear program until the U.S. ends its hostile policies", she said.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves during a military parade in Pyongyang, North Korea. It has long accused the United States and South Korea of escalating tensions by conducting military drills. "The time for talk is over".

Ri highlighted Pyongyang's fears of invasion by the US, saying that only nuclear-armed countries have been safe from military actions by Washington. He emphasized, "We're trying to convey to the North Koreans, we are not your enemy".

Jay Lefkowitz, a former US special envoy on human rights in North Korea, said China's efforts were encouraging but he questioned the value.

But Tillerson appeared more conciliatory on Monday.

North Korea threatens physical actions after United Nations sanctions