March 23, 2018

'Direct challenge': North Korea hits back at $1 billion United Nations sanctions

08 August 2017, 12:44 | Marta Robbins

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi shakes hands with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during their bilateral meeting Credit EPA ROUELLE UMALI

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi shakes hands with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during their bilateral meeting

Mr Trump thanked Russian Federation and China on Twitter for backing the new sanctions, adding he was "very happy and impressed with 15-0 United Nations vote on North Korea sanctions".

The restrictions were recommended for the exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood as well as workforce - prohibiting countries from increasing existing numbers of North Korean workers employed outside the country.

The U.S., Australian and Japanese foreign ministers called Monday for a halt to land reclamation and military actions in the South China Sea and compliance with an arbitration ruling that invalidated China's vast claims to the disputed waters.

"We will know it when we see it", he told reporters.

Beijing objects to the USA advanced anti-missile battery in the region that can potentially monitor China's military activities using high-resolution radar.

Moon returned from vacation Monday to speak by phone with U.S. President Donald Trump for the first time since North Korea conducted its second successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) over a week ago.

It said the United Nations sanctions would not force the country to negotiate over its nuclear programme or give up its ambitions and warned it would take "action of justice", although it did not elaborate on what that means.

North Korea vowed Monday to bolster its nuclear arsenal and gain revenge of a "thousand-fold" against the United States in response to tough U.N. sanctions imposed following its recent intercontinental ballistic missile tests.

The White House released a statement Monday on the call between Trump and Moon that said, "The leaders committed to fully implement all relevant resolutions and to urge the worldwide community to do so as well".

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The North Korea stand-off is expected to dominate Monday's ASEAN Regional Forum, where 27 foreign ministers - including those of Russian Federation, the United States, China, and North and South Korea have gathered in the Philippines to discuss security issues.

On Monday, Chinese state media said North Korea had to be punished for its missile tests but also criticized the USA for its "arrogance".

The measures were approved unanimously - including by China, the North's sole major ally and economic lifeline, and Russian Federation.

The Trump administration cautiously embraced China's apparent newfound cooperation, while putting it on notice the US would be watching closely to ensure it didn't ease up on North Korea if and when the world's attention is diverted elsewhere. Even so, the USA would prefer to resolve the threat "short of what would be a very costly war in terms of the suffering of, mainly, the South Korean people", McMaster said.

Trump tweeted that he was "very happy and impressed with 15-0 United Nations vote" on the sanctions.

Tillerson also discussed the need to ramp up worldwide pressure on North Korea to force it to abandon its nuclear weapons programmes in meetings with Australia, Japan and South Korea.

"You need deeper sanctions over a longer period of time, like years, before you can see if North Korea changes its behavior", Thomas Byrne, president of the New York-based Korea Society, said to Bloomberg.

Kang is echoing Tillerson's praise for the sanctions approved Saturday by the U.N. Security Council. Kang is thanking the USA for consulting with South Korea on the sanctions.

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