China 'to bear burden' of enforcing North Korea sanctions

Pauline Gross
August 12, 2017

The response shows that tensions are showing no signs of abating after the UN Security Council on Saturday unanimously approved measures to restrict North Korea's exports of coal, iron, lead and seafood.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha urged Ri on Sunday to respond as soon as possible to an offer to resume talks between the two countries, Yonhap News Agency reported, citing an unidentified foreign ministry official from Seoul.

Tillerson was in Manila for an annual meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), a 27-country, security-focused grouping that includes North Korea.

"Do not violate the U.N.'s decision or provoke worldwide society's goodwill by conducting missile launching or nuclear tests", Wang said after talks with Ri Yong Ho, North Korea's foreign minister.

The comments came as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is in the Philippines for a regional summit that is expected to focus heavily on concerns with North Korea.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Monday laid out what the USA expects from North Korea ahead of any talks between the two sides: A halt to the increasingly frequent ballistic missile launches that have ratcheted up tensions over recent months. Now comes the hard part: making them stick, and fast.

Serious questions remain, however, about whether China and Russian Federation will enforce the sanctions as they have vowed to do, and whether the increased punishment against the Kim regime will actually work, even if it is enforced.

President Trump praised the sanctions on Twitter Tuesday morning saying, "after many years of failure, countries are coming together to finally address the dangers posed by North Korea". The greatest economic sanctions package ever levied against them, it'll cost about $1 billion. US sanctions signed by President Donald Trump a few days earlier also target North Korea's human rights abuses and enforce United Nations shipping sanctions against North Korea.

They're only a tactic for getting Kim Jong Un's totalitarian government to end its missile advances and atomic weapons tests, and there is little evidence to suggest this newest round of economic pressure will be more successful than previous efforts. "The time for talk is over".

In their first meeting since Kono took up his new post in last week's Cabinet reshuffle, he and Tillerson agreed to hold the next round of four-way security talks between their foreign and defense ministers "at an early date", according to the Japanese official.

Kang chimed in: "It was a very, very good outcome".

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"The meeting was not previously arranged but a natural encounter at the party", the source told reporters.

But the diplomatic road ahead is rocky. He says the North is "ready to teach the USA a severe lesson with its nuclear strategic force".

The consequences of a USA strike would potentially be catastrophic for South Koreans, Japanese and U.S. military personnel within range of North Korean retaliatory strikes.

Susan Thornton is the top USA diplomat for Asia.

"The North Koreans contend that they can not relinquish their nuclear program until the U.S. ends its hostile policies", she said.

Thornton says the USA wants to ensure that with the new sanctions, there's "not this kind of episodic back and forth that we've seen". Alongside its ritual ballistic missile tests, North Korea has conducted nuclear tests on five occasions, two of which in 2016.

"Do not violate the U.N.'s decision or provoke worldwide society's goodwill by conducting missile launching or nuclear tests", Wang said, in an unusually direct admonition.

"The North Korean regime is going to have to make a choice", Anthony Ruggiero, an expert in North Korean sanctions, tells CBS News.

Tillerson met for about an hour with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

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. Even with new United Nations sanctions in place meant to drive Pyongyang back to the table, conditions still aren't ripe for talks, USA diplomats said. "I think there's no alternative to that".

Other reports by GizPress

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