North Korea Says Sanctions Will Only Speed Up Nuclear Programme

Frederick Owens
September 22, 2017

"The Chinese proposal, a freeze for freeze, they say, a freeze on United States military exercises with the South, in exchange for a freeze for North Korean missile and nuclear testing".

The US military carried out an aerial military drill on Monday with South Korea near the border between the Koreas, the defence ministry in Seoul said.

President Moon Jae-in approved the South Korean missile launching and ordered his national security council to meet to discuss the latest North Korean missile test.

And those missiles are growing in strength: on 4 July, North Korea conducted its first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which it claims could reach "anywhere in the world".

"I'm very confident in that [missile defense] ability" under the command of Air Force Gen. Lori Robinson, head of U.S. Northern Command, Hyten said. "Diplomacy and dialogue will not work with North Korea and concerted pressure by the entire global community is essential to tackle the threats posed by North Korea", he wrote.

"There are many military options, in concert with our allies, that we will take to defend our allies and our own interests", Mattis said in a press briefing at the Pentagon without elaborating. Pyongyang tested its first two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July and claims that it can now accurately reach the US homeland, though outside experts say the North may still need more tests before its weapons are fully viable. Therefore, not surprisingly, Japan doesn't want to see any weaknesses in the chain of pressure being put on North Korea.

China has urged the United States to refrain from making threats to North Korea.

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"We have to look at that capability of North Korea as a matter of when, not if", Hyten, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, said at a Hudson Institute forum.

North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho on Wednesday delivered a scornful response to that threat, likening it to the sound of "a dog barking".

Mr Abe said: "We can't be satisfied that the United Nations has approved new sanctions against North Korea".

The plight of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims that United Nations officials have described as ethnic cleansing is getting early attention at the annual gathering of government leaders at the world body.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has said: "We greatly appreciate President Trump's approach to changing North Korea's policy stance, denuclearising the country and calling on the worldwide community, including China and Russian Federation, for their cooperation toward strengthening pressure on North Korea".

China accounts for about 90 percent of North Korea's trade.

Moon will later hold a three-way meeting with US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, two right-leaning leaders who have pressed to punish North Korea.

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