North Korea condemns latest United Nations nuclear sanctions, vows response

Frederick Owens
August 12, 2017

US nuclear expert Siegfried Hecker, who has repeatedly visited North Korea's nuclear facilities, said he doesn't think North Korea now has weapons systems for "enveloping fire" around Guam, as it threatened.

Rex Tillerson has had to make several tricky diplomatic tours since becoming USA secretary of state.

"We're not going to give someone a specific number of days or weeks", Mr Tillerson said.

"When it comes to the South China Sea, of course Japan doesn't want to see a diminished USA presence", he said.

After calling the North Korean leader a maniac, President Duterte has opened the country's line for a dialogue with the embattled country amid grave concern over its nuclear ambitions. He's not specifying what those are.

But Daniel Russel, the former top US diplomat for East Asia until April, said this so-called NY channel had been a relatively commonplace means of communication with North Korea over the years, and it was not a forum for negotiation.

Chinese state media on Monday acknowledged that North Korea had to be punished for its missile tests, but criticized the United States for its "arrogance".

Speaking at the same forum, Mr Wang said the new resolution showed China and the global community's opposition to North Korea's continued missile tests.

Earlier, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said new United Nations sanctions targeting North Korea are a "very good outcome".

North Korea has recently shrugged off peaceful overtures from both the USA and South Korea, instead doubling down on its missile testing schedule.

As a result, two statements were issued, namely the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Statement on the Developments in the Korean Peninsula and the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Statement on the Situation in Al-Haram Al-Sharif Compound.

China "hopes North Korea can echo this signal from the United States", Wang added.

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The North said it would take an unspecified "resolute action of justice" and would never place its nuclear program on the negotiating table or "flinch an inch" from its push to strengthen its nuclear deterrence as long as USA hostility against North Korea persists.

But Washington's top diplomat stopped short of giving further details on what time frame the USA was considering.

China has repeatedly said it was committed to enforcing increasingly tough United Nations resolutions on North Korea, though it had also said what it terms "normal" trade and ordinary North Koreans should not be affected.

Still, Thornton says China's vote for the sanctions is a good step that shows Beijing understands the gravity of the problem. She says the USA rejects any "moral equivalency" implied by that proposal.

The diplomat also highlighted that on the sidelines of the AMM 50, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh held a series of bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Australia, Laos, Canada, the US, New Zealand, China, Japan and the Republic of Korea, and the High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

North Korea's foreign minister, Ri Yong ho, echoed the hostility later in a statement released at an annual meeting of foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Manila that also was attended by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Haley said Trump was keeping "all options on the table" for its dealings with North Korea. Trump has said he will not allow Pyongyang to develop a nuclear weapon capable of hitting the United States.

Wang also urged the US and South Korea "to stop increasing tensions" and said that all sides should return to negotiations.

Duterte has expressed concern about the threat posed by North Korea, saying Kim could destroy the region if he makes a mistake of firing nuclear missiles.

Despite the tough rhetoric, Trump insisted that "nobody loves a peaceful solution better than President Trump".

While uncertainty remains over the North's ability to Wednesday a warhead with such a missile and strike a US target, it is a prospect that looms larger over Trump's presidency. Of course! Donald Trump and the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un - neither of whom has any aides who can stand up to them - are trading fire and brimstone threats with their fingers cocked on nuclear weapons. "Afterward we met with the Philippine foreign minister to exchange views on bilateral relations, especially regarding ASEAN".

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