In Manila, North Korea blames USA for nukes

Claudine Rigal
Août 13, 2017

"We actually had very thorough talks", Wang said, adding "The Chinese side urged the North Korean side to calmly handle the resolutions the UN Security Council just made towards North Korea and to not do anything unbeneficial towards the global community such as a nuclear test".

Tillerson did not meet with North Korea's envoy, Ri Yong Ho.

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

The new Security Council resolution, UNSCR 2371, tightens existing sanctions by imposing a full ban North Korea's export of coal, iron, seafood and other items to other countries; expands the list of individuals and entities subject to an asset freeze; and prohibits countries from increasing the number of North Korean laborers they employ - laborers whose earnings, the US says, boost revenues for the regime's illicit activities. Ri, who actively voiced Pyongyang's positions in meetings with reporters during the July 2016 ARF in Vientiane, remained tight-lipped under a barrage of questions from the press throughout this year's event.

Ri hasn't spoken publicly since arriving in the Philippines.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says if the North stops testing missiles for an "extended period", the USA might deem North Korea ready to talk.

The sanctions ban the import of North Korean raw materials such as coal, iron, seafood and lead and block any new joint ventures with the North. It also prohibits countries from increasing the number of North Koreans working overseas and bans new joint ventures with the North as well as any new investment in current joint ventures. Tens of thousands of them return hard currency to the increasingly isolated regime. Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, called the sanctions the most stringent on any country "in a generation".

North Korea's consultative council for national reconciliation warned South Korea against supporting the adoption of economic sanctions at the United Nations Security Council.

Still, Thornton says China's vote for the sanctions is a good step that shows Beijing understands the gravity of the problem. "Very big financial impact!"

Indeed, North Korea reportedly requested bilateral talks with several countries during the forum, but Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho was met only by the foreign minister of chair country the Philippines after the ASEAN member countries chose to avoid individual contact.

Ms Haley said Mr Trump was keeping "all options on the table" for dealing with North Korea and speaking of its leader, Kim Jong Un, said "he has to decide if he strikes the United States, is that something he can win?"

The U.S. has rejected both proposals, although Tillerson said last week the U.S. was willing to talk with Pyongyang - if the North agrees to abandon its quest for nuclear weapons.

On the sidelines, the foreign minister met his counterparts including China, Russia, Indonesia, East Timor and the host country Philippines.

Lavrov told reporters that he and Tillerson agreed to preserve a diplomatic channel that Russian Federation had earlier suspended as a reaction to the sanctions, the Associated Press reported.

The U.S. drafted the sanctions resolution and negotiated it with China following North Korea's unprecedented test of an ICBM in July and a follow-up test weeks later. 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. Susan Thornton, the top USA diplomat for Asia, said Beijing had historically cooperated with sanctions after flagrant North Korean violations but then slipped back over time.

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