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China's sanctions support shows recognition of gravity of North Korea threat

07 Août 2017

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the best signal North Korea could give that it's prepared for negotiations with the U.S. would be to halt its missile launches.

HU: The argument goes that they eventually will so pressure North Korea that it will bring North Korea to its knees, and Pyongyang will then want to go to the table and negotiate.

Tillerson aide R.C. Hammond said that after a productive first day, Tillerson spent several hours preparing for Day 2.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, meeting with North Korea's top diplomat during the gathering in Manila, urged the North to "maintain calm" despite the United Nations vote.

"President Moon said both the South and the USA are working together to bring the North to a negotiating table for nuclear dismantlement ultimately through the strong sanctions and pressure", Park said. The diplomat was not authorized to speak publicly and insisted on anonymity.

Nine North Korean officials and four entities, including North Korea's main foreign exchange bank, are added to the United Nations' sanctions blacklist. He said the North could still carry out new missile tests or a sixth atomic bomb test in the coming months under its broader weapons development timetable.

North Korea sees its weapons program as the key to preventing US-led attempts at regime change, and the July missile tests showed Pyongyang may have passed an important threshold in its quest to obtain the ability to hit the U.S. with a nuclear warhead.

The centerpiece of the United Nations sanctions is a ban on North Korean exports of coal, iron, lead and seafood products - and a ban on all countries importing those products, estimated to be worth over $1 billion a year in hard currency. It also limits the number of North Koreans permitted to work overseas, and bars countries from entering into new joint ventures with North Korea or investing in current ones. Tens of thousands of them return hard currency to the increasingly isolated regime. Tucked away in a larger article that cited a USA government source, Panda revealed that "the United States observed the missile on the launch pad near Pukchang Airport for about 70 minutes prior to its firing".

In a statement, China's Foreign Ministry stressed the new sanctions should avoid impacting permitted economic activities and cooperation as well as food and humanitarian aid.

The US and China piled pressure on North Korea on Sunday to abandon its nuclear missile programme as top diplomats from the key powers in the dispute met in Manila.

The Chinese envoy also urged the USA and South Korea not to increase tensions, saying that the situation was at a "critical point", but also a juncture at which talks could be resumed.

"Only dialogue and negotiation is the correct way out to address the Korean peninsula issue", Wang said. China's position appeared to reflect positive movement following an unrelenting effort by Trump to enlist Beijing's aid in curbing Pyongyang's military buildup. But we have to underline that North Korea is determined to stay nuclear.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the support of China and Russian Federation for the latest sanctions sent a strong message to North Korea about what was expected of it. "They never have and likely never will". We called up NPR's Elise Hu in Seoul, South Korea, and asked her how the new sanctions came about.

"I think your point is well taken", Mr. Tillerson said.

The U.S. and South Korean military are scheduled to hold the joint-Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG) military exercises in late August.

He said he is expecting the resolution's full implementation from ASEAN member countries.

The three nations also called on China and the Philippines to respect last year's global arbitration ruling which dismissed much of Beijing's claim in the sea.

China's sanctions support shows recognition of gravity of North Korea threat