Southeast Asian unhappy over North Korea's missile tests - Cambodia

13 August, 2017, 21:04 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Alex Wong  Getty Images

The new sanctions could slash North Korea's $3 billion annual export revenue by a third.

Susan Thornton, the top US diplomat for Asia, said Beijing had historically cooperated with sanctions after flagrant North Korean violations but then slipped back over time.

"It was a good outcome", U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said.

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.

Last week, Mr Tillerson said North Korea needed to cease both its missile launches and nuclear weapons tests for talks to begin.

With China steadfastly taking issue with the United States' deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile shield in South Korea, the minister likened Beijing's position to "putting the cart before the horse", indicating without North Korean threats, the system would not be necessary. 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.

The centerpiece of the United Nations sanctions is a ban on North Korean exports of coal, iron, lead and seafood products - and a ban on all countries importing those products, estimated to be worth over $1 billion a year in hard currency. As an achievement from the forum, Kang said Seoul had "received very active support and a positive response in its bilateral and multilateral meetings on its efforts to establish peace on the Korean Peninsula as expressed in the Berlin vision".

On Saturday, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted the resolution tightening the sanctions against Pyongyang over its nuclear and missile activity.

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Though Tillerson has emphasized the Trump administration's willingness to sit down with North Korea for negotiations, he's said that won't happen until the North agrees to abandon its nuclear aspirations.

The United States says it will be watching China closely to ensure it fully and continuously implements new U.N. sanctions on North Korea.

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Tillerson did not meet with North Korea's envoy, Ri Yong Ho.

The U.S. drafted the sanctions resolution and negotiated it with China following North Korea's unprecedented test of an ICBM in July and a follow-up test weeks later.

"The statement was not borne out of lost friendship but is because of frustration that there seems to be no opening for discussions or dialogue to address the impasse on the issues in the Korean Peninsula", Cayetano told Ri according to a press statement.

The meeting comes as the US and Asian nations join together to try to step up Pyongyang's economic and diplomatic isolation.


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