Sanctions may not halt North Korea nuclear program

Claudine Rigal
Août 12, 2017

The 15 Security Council members voted unanimously on Saturday to impose the toughest United Nations sanctions yet on North Korea after it tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) in July.

The UN Security Council on Saturday imposed its toughest round of sanctions yet against Pyongyang over its two intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests in July.

The sanctions, which target North Korea's foreign currency earnings, ban its exports of coal, coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood.

China will bear the main burden of enforcing sanctions against North Korea over its nuclear programme, foreign minister Wang Yi told an Asian security summit in Manila, while a scheduled meeting between Vietnam and China was cancelled over Beijing's disputed territorial claims.

Ri also stressed that that North Korea was a "responsible nuclear power and ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) state", adding that it has "no intention to use nuclear weapons against or threaten with nuclear weapons any other country except the U.S., unless it joins military action of the USA against North Korea" - possibly referring to China and Russian Federation, who have in the past provided diplomatic cover for Pyongyang. The United States had to figure out how far China and Russian Federation were willing to go.

At the same time, USA officials acknowledge that even if the sanctions are properly enforced, there is no guarantee they will be any more effective than previous rounds, which have failed to halt steady progress in North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

He also criticized Japan and South Korea, saying they were simply following Washington. "We must be tough and decisive!"

"The best signal that North Korea can give us that they are prepared to talk would be to stop these missile launches", said Mr Tillerson, adding that "other means of communications" were open to Pyongyang. With the new resolution, there would be "not this kind of episodic back and forth that we've seen", she told reporters.

"There have been quite a few tourists in my groups who say they want to see North Korea in its reclusive state while they can", he said. He said the North could still carry out further missile tests or a sixth atomic bomb test in the coming months under its broader weapons development timetable.

"It was a good outcome", US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said at an annual meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Manila.

After meeting Sunday in. It also prohibits countries from increasing the numbers of North Korean labourers now working overseas, bans new joint ventures with North Korea and any new investment in current joint ventures.

- Conor Finnegan (@cjf39) August 6, 2017Secretary Tillerson meets with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea, Kang Kyung-wha, in Manila.

But it remains cautious of triggering a North Korean collapse, fearful of fomenting chaos along its border or advancing any scenario that would lead to a reunified and USA -allied Korea on its doorstep. "The time for talk is over".

With the regime's latest long-range ballistic missile tests, North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho was again isolated from the sole multilateral forum Pyongyang takes part in.

The North Korean response was typically robust, threatening to teach the USA "a severe lesson" if it sought to punish the North for its nuclear ambitions.

The sanctions also bar countries from employing North Korean laborers commissioned to work overseas.

China urged restraint from the USA and South Korea as well, calling on all sides to negotiate.

For Tillerson's interlocutors worldwide, this is beginning to be a familiar experience: When the top United States diplomat meets with counterparts, many are finding that he's arriving prepared with information on their countries' connections to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and suggestions on how they can reduce them.

The foreign ministers on Sunday adopted a negotiating framework for a code of conduct in the South China Sea and also issued a communique that pressed for non-militarization and expressed concerns about China's island-building.

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