N Korea delivers new threat over sanctions

Trevor Jackson
August 8, 2017

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has ruled out a quick return to dialogue with North Korea, saying the new sanctions showed the world had run out of patience with Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions.

The country's statement issued on Monday came two days after the UN Security Council unanimously approved new sanctions to punish the North including a ban on coal and other exports worth over one billion United States dollars.

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 US hostility against North Korea persists. So if these are properly implemented by the customer countries, such as China, the sanctions could slash North Korea's annual export revenue by about a billion dollars, and that's a third of its annual exports.

They also discussed North Korea's July 28 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test, the statement said.

'This is not a "give me 30 days and we are ready to talk" it's not quite that simple'.

But Yonhap reported that Mr Ri retorted: "Given the current situation in which the South collaborates with the U.S. to heap pressure on the North, such proposals lacked sincerity".

China has called for the United States and South Korea to suspend military drills on the Korean Peninsula in return for North Korea agreeing to a weapons freeze and returning to dialogue, but the United States has rejected this.

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North Korea's foreign minister Ri Yong Ho said Seoul's proposals lack sincerity when South Korea is imposing sanctions on the North with the United States, the official added.

"President Trump and President Moon welcomed the new United Nations Security Council resolution that unanimously passed 15-0". And China has really been pushing for this idea of a freeze-for-freeze, essentially that North Korea should freeze its nuclear development in exchange for the US and South Korea freezing its joint-military exercises.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung Wha asked for Pyongyang to respond to a recent offer to hold military talks, but North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said the offer lacked sincerity, Yonhap reported, citing a government source.

"Just completed call with President Moon of South Korea", Trump said on Twitter.

The North Korean statement on Monday appeared to more firmly reject talks.

Tillerson, who did not specify how much time North Korea has to put an end to its missile tests, said that the United States has other channels of communication to establish contact with the Kim Jong-un regime.

During the hour-long phone call on Monday, Moon and Trump said they would continue co-operating to rein in North Korea, particularly ahead of a regular joint military drill set for late August, South Korean presidential office spokesman Park Su-hyun told a media briefing.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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