US Will Talk to N. Korea if it Stops Missile Tests

13 August, 2017, 15:11 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Alex Wong  Getty Images

He dismissed the U.N. Security Council sanctions approved Saturday as illegal, appearing to rule out talks the Trump administration, in a diplomatic partnership with China and Russian Federation, is offering North Korea as a way out of its economic and diplomatic pariah status.

Noting that he has met with ASEAN officials three times in the last six months, with the third one during Sunday's ASEAN-US Ministerial Meeting at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Tillerson said: "I think, it is indicative of the importance that the United States pays and places upon this relationship with ASEAN".

"In particular, they welcomed the United Nations Security Council's unanimous adoption of the powerful new Resolution 2371 and promised to closely work together to make the worldwide community faithfully implement it", the ministry added.

Apart from the North Korea issue, the ministers touched on the regional terrorist threat, climate change and diplomatic wrangling on overlapping claims in the South China Sea during Saturday's two-and-a-half hour closed-door meeting, Bolivar said.

With the regime's latest long-range ballistic missile tests, North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho was again isolated from the sole multilateral forum Pyongyang takes part in.

The new sanctions will block the export of iron ore, lead, iron, coal and seafood, and will reportedly prevent the North Korean regime from raising $1 billion annually.

On preconditions for reopening talks with North Korea, Tillerson said "we'll know it when we see it".

But Tillerson says it's not as simple as North Korea stopping launches for a few days or weeks. Testing an ICBM marks a major military achievement for Pyongyang and a serious escalation of tensions with the United States and its allies in the region, particularly South Korea and Japan.

"We will under no circumstances put the nukes and ballistic rockets on the negotiating table", Ri said in a speech to an Asia regional gathering in the Philippines.

Dow plummets 205pts as Trump inflames Korea tension
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"We support initiatives to improve inter-Korean relations towards establishing permanent peace in the Korean Peninsula", their statement said.

"The best signal that North Korea could send that they're prepared to talk would be to stop these missile launches", Tillerson said.

At the same time, Washington has issued blunt warnings the USA will use military force if necessary and North Korea has answered in kind.

The two leaders also welcomed the U.N. Security Council resolution that unanimously passed 15-0.

Niki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, stated that the Security Council had lived up to its role by backing the sanctions.

"It is very hard to imagine that China would have voted in favor of a resolution that would hit North Korea's economy so badly if Beijing really believed that such a resolution would be fully implemented", North Korean Economy Watch co-editor Benjamin Katzeff Silberstein wrote in a posting on the blog after Saturday's vote.

In the face of Saturday's United Nations sanctions, North Korea remained defiant, saying the UN's move was unwarranted and unfair.

The new economic sanctions were approved amid the discussions in Manila.

But he applauded the Security Council vote on Twitter.

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