Trump's 'fire and fury' over North Korea hurts his Asia allies

Pauline Gross
August 12, 2017

"But in order to protect the global non-proliferation system and regional peace and stability, China will, as before, fully and strictly implement the entire contents of the relevant resolution".

Trump said he thought USA allies South Korea and Japan were "very happy" with how he was handling the confrontation.

Earlier, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha met Ri for three minutes at a dinner at the forum.

Speaking at the ASEAN summit in Manila, North Korea's foreign minister spoke of "intercontinental attack capabilities" that meant his nation could teach the USA a "severe lesson with its nuclear strategic force".

Bang was in the Philippines with a North Korean delegation that includes North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho.

Yet far from bringing the parties closer together, the trip was overshadowed by developments in North Korea, and only underscored the fact that the agendas of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries - Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam - are not completely aligned with those of the White House. "It goes without saying that it would probably start another Korean war, or instability in northeast Asia, not to mention the possible collapse of the North and a flood of refugees in China". Since the vote, Washington has put Beijing in particular on notice that it's watching closely to ensure China doesn't repeat its pattern of carrying out sanctions for a while, then returning to business as usual with the pariah nation on its border.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has pledged China will actively implement the new UN Security Council (UNSC) sanctions despite the adverse impact it will have on its economy.

China expressed its "strong dissatisfaction" with the USA over the Navy's latest freedom of navigation operation in which a warship sailed past one of China's man-made islands in the strategic South China Sea.

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

The warning came after US President Donald Trump said he was "very happy and impressed" by the unanimous approval at the United Nations for the sanctions.

Only 21 percent say they would support an agreement that saw North Korea halt its nuclear program but not give up its existing weapons (17 percent of Republicans and 26 percent of Democrats).

ASEAN foreign ministers' meeting South China Sea dispute North Korea tensions dominate conference

Mutual trust, dialogue and cooperation will not only benefit these two countries, but also show the world a bright future with more positive, more predictable and more sustainable relations between China and the United States, Wang said while meeting the U.S. State Secretary Rex Tillerson on the sidelines of the ASEAN foreign ministers meeting in the Philippine capital city Manila.

So far, outsourcing its North Korea policy to China has not worked for the United States.

Kono told reporters he urged Ri to resolve issues such as Pyongyang's nuclear and ballistic missile programs and its past abductions of Japanese nationals.

Also Monday, US and South Korean officials discussed lifting some restrictions on how destructive South Korea's missiles can be, Channel NewsAsia reported.

Can North Korea be persuaded to give up its weapons of mass destruction, removing the threat to the United States and its allies, South Korea and Japan?

Despite the tough rhetoric, Trump insisted that "nobody loves a peaceful solution better than President Trump".

After weeks of US frustration over China's reluctance to take action, Trump's strategy of relying on Beijing's help showed early signs of paying off.

The sanctions will ban North Korean exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood and prohibit countries from hiring additional North Korean labourers.

And if that wasn't clear enough, last month, the isolated Asian nation tested intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that experts say could reach USA shores, specifically Alaska.

On Monday, Trump complained that the USA -led sanctions vote at the United Nations is not getting enough attention, writing, "The Fake News Media will not talk about the importance of the United Nations Security Council's 15-0 vote in favor of sanctions on N. Korea!" She says it was a "very, very good outcome". However, both the use of airstrikes and USA troops to attack such facilities were supported by a minority of Americans; 40 percent and 28 percent, respectively.

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