March 18, 2018

Even if sanctions bite, will North Korea give up its nukes?

12 August 2017, 07:30 | Taylor George

Even if sanctions bite, will North Korea give up its nukes?

Even if sanctions bite, will North Korea give up its nukes?

In the latest push to curb North Korea's rapidly advancing nuclear and missile programs, the United Nations Security Council passed sanctions Saturday that Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the U.N., said were "the most stringent" actions taken against any country in a generation. Wang Yi said that sanctions were "necessary, but not the end goal" and are aimed at bringing North Korea to the negotiating table.

Tillerson's comments at a regional security forum in Manila were the latest United States attempt to rein in Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs after months of tough talk from U.S. President Donald Trump.

On Saturday, the UN Security Council imposed its toughest round of sanctions yet against Pyongyang over its two intercontinental ballistic missile tests in July - but Mr Tillerson appeared more conciliatory on Monday. It bars North Korean exports of several key commodities - including lead, lead ore, iron, iron ore, coal, and seafood. The sanctions could further choke North Korea's struggling economy by slashing its $3 billion annual export revenue by a third.

Mr Tillerson on Monday insisted President Kim must first stop the missile tests, but he would not set a timeframe on when this might be possible or how long North Korea might have to refrain from testing more long-range missiles. "After many years of failure, countries are coming together to finally address the dangers posed by North Korea".

The KCNA report came as diplomats in Asia stepped up efforts to get North Korea to resume dialogue during a regional security meeting in the Philippines. It has urged North Korea to halt future ballistic missile and nuclear tests, while also calling on the USA and South Korea to cease military exercises. "We must be tough & decisive!" he wrote.

China, North Korea's lone major ally, has repeatedly said it is committed to enforcing increasingly tough United Nations resolutions on North Korea, though it has also said what it terms "normal" trade and ordinary North Koreans should not be affected. "North Korea would use the talk as a bargaining chip with the US, as their goal is to have dialogue with Washington, not Seoul". At the same time, he revealed Pyongyang's fear of a US invasion, saying North Korea is developing nuclear arsenals because historically only nuclear-armed countries have been safe from American military invasion.

Yang pointed out that Trump, who took office in January, has not yet appointed an ambassador to South Korea, nor has he chosen a director to deal with North Korean issues in the State Department.

LISA DESJARDINS: And again singled out the United States.

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Ms Kang urged her northern counterpart to accept Seoul's offers of military talks to lower tensions on the divided peninsula, and for discussions on a new round of reunions for divided families, according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency.

"There is no bigger mistake than the United States believing that its land is safe across the ocean", North Korean state media said.

Tillerson did not specify how long North Korea would need to suspend its missile launches.

"North Korea should realize that it will face stronger sanctions and pressure if it doesn't stop nuclear and missile provocation", Moon Sang-gyun, a spokesman for South Korea's defense ministry, said on Tuesday in response to North Korea's statement.

WOMAN (through interpreter): The U.S.' villainous illegal actions against our country and people will be reciprocated by thousands-fold. -South Korean military drills that it views as an invasion rehearsal.

The infographic below shows the maximum range of each of the ballistic missiles North Korea has tested over the last few years.

"If we want to know why United Nations sanctions are not working, it's because North Korea is able to operate inside China and Russian Federation", he said.

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