North Korea Says US Will 'Pay Dearly' for 'Heinous' Crimes

Frederick Owens
August 12, 2017

Few expressed concern over the North's persistent missile tests in recent months, which led the United Nations Security Council on Saturday to impose tough new sanctions against Pyongyang. The resolution would ban North Korean exports of seafood, coal, lead, lead ore, iron and iron ore.

In a separate statement to reporters in Manila, North Korea called President Donald Trump's "America First" policy risky and said its nuclear program was necessary to avoid a USA invasion similar to those in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met here Sunday with counterparts from China, Russia, and a host of Asian countries as he sought to build momentum to isolate North Korea. The North has learned through decades of USA efforts at isolation how to circumvent commercial and financial restrictions, and reluctant powers like China and Russian Federation have often proven half-hearted partners when it comes to policing their ally.

"The White House thanked both China and Russian Federation for their cooperation in a statement, adding: "[Mr Trump] will continue working with allies and partners to increase diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea to end its threatening and destabilising behaviour".

This picture taken on July 4 and released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un celebrating the successful test-fire of the intercontinental ballistic missile at an undisclosed location.

Tillerson said Washington would not "specify a specific number of days or weeks" before deciding that North Korea had indeed stopped its tests. "We must be tough & decisive!" he wrote.

As a matter of urgency, Ruggiero argued, the USA should punish Chinese banks and companies helping North Korea evade sanctions.

"North Korea should realise if it doesn't stop its nuclear, missile provocations, it will face even stronger pressure and sanctions", Defence Ministry spokesman Moon Sang-gyun told a regular news briefing.

In remarks to reporters Monday morning, Tillerson said the best signal North Korea could give that it was prepared for negotiations with the USA would be to halt its missile launches.

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

"It's certainly a good step that they've moved ahead to broaden the sanctions", Acting Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Susan Thornton told reporters Sunday, "but the implementation is something that we'll be tracking and taking action on as necessary", including possible unilateral USA sanctions on Chinese banks, firms and individuals.

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.

After meeting Sunday in. Instead, the US was represented at the dinner by Thornton, whose official title is acting assistant secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of soldiers and citizens role through the streets of the capital Pyongyang to take part in the North's military parades.

North Korea has made no secret of its plans to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of striking the United States and has ignored worldwide calls to halt its nuclear and missile programmes.

Earlier Pyongyang said it was ready to give Washington a "severe lesson" with its strategic nuclear force in response to any United States military action. But U.S. intelligence officials told Reuters there was still no reliable evidence that North Korea had fully mastered the process.

Another diplomat, however, said there was no real disagreement on the contents of the communique and stressed that the initial draft was seen by some members as weak.

Ahead of Sunday's talks, Tillerson visited the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial to pay tribute to more than 17,000 USA and Filipino servicemen who died fighting as allies during World War II. "But North Korea has been able to evade sanctions in the past, and it's not clear to me things are going to be much different this time". It has long accused the United States and South Korea of escalating tensions by conducting military drills.

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