Global News

Welcome boost from China to global pressure on North Korea

Welcome boost from China to global pressure on North Korea

If fully implemented, the new sanctions-which target coal, seafood, and metals exports; prohibit the employment of North Korean guest workers; and expand sanctions on joint economic ventures-could cut North Korea's $3 billion annual export revenue by a third, according to US officials.

China reiterated its support for the UN Security Council's sanctions on North Korea, saying it would adhere to them very strictly.

Anthony Ruggiero, a former Treasury Department official and sanctions expert, said China and Russian Federation have failed to implement a half-dozen previous United Nations resolutions on North Korea since 2006, when the country became the first and only one this century to conduct a nuclear test explosion.

The Trump administration has made clear it does not favor the China-Russia plan, however.

Whether the top diplomats from South and North Korea will meet during the ASEAN meetings drew keen attention as communication between the two countries remains nearly closed amid heightened tensions caused by Pyongyang's repeated nuclear and missile provocations.

The UN Security Council on Saturday imposed its toughest round of sanctions yet against Pyongyang over its two intercontinental ballistic missile tests in July. Lindsey Graham said last week that he believes military action against North Korea is "inevitable" and that "if there's going to be a war to stop them, it will be over there". "With his approval ratings falling even with his base, Trump is trapped between the realities of dealing with China and his campaign promises to get tough on trade".

"It is time for North Korea to realise, we are not playing anymore", said Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, on Fox News programme Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo. With the new resolution, there would be "not this kind of episodic back and forth that we've seen", she told reporters. Alongside its ritual ballistic missile tests, North Korea has conducted nuclear tests on five occasions, two of which in 2016.

China appreciated comments earlier this month by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that the United States was not seeking to topple the North Korean government and would like dialogue with Pyongyang at some point, Wang added. The resolution also bans countries from giving any additional permits to North Korean laborers, another source of foreign currency for the North, and prohibits all new joint ventures with North Korean companies.

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, left, is greeted by his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi prior to their bilateral meeting in the sidelines of the 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting and its Dialogue Partners Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017 in Pasay city, Manila.

Asian markets suffer bloodbath over escalating US, North Korea tensions
Nordstrom shares were up 1.63 percent at $45.60 following the apparel retailer's better-than-expected quarterly same-store sales. President Donald Trump , left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a news program at the Seoul Train Station on Thursday.

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

The new sanctions are stronger than past measures but are still unlikely to lead Kim Jong-un to abandon his nuclear program voluntarily. "The time for talk is over".

South Korea's central bank reported last month that the North Korean economy grew by 3.9 percent in 2016, the healthiest growth in a decade-and-a-half.

Ri highlighted Pyongyang's fears of invasion by the USA, saying that only nuclear-armed countries have been safe from military actions by Washington.

In a draft seen Sunday by The Korea Herald, the ministers displayed "grave concern" over Pyongyang's ICBM tests which resulted in an "escalation of tensions" in the region.

China urged restraint from the US and South Korea as well, calling on all sides to negotiate.

"We want to make sure China is continuing to implement fully the sanctions regime", she said.

For Tillerson's interlocutors worldwide, this is beginning to be a familiar experience: When the top USA diplomat meets with counterparts, many are finding that he's arriving prepared with information on their countries' connections to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and suggestions on how they can reduce them.


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