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12 August 2017, 10:37 | Opal Carroll
Trump touts new sanctions on North Korea
In what might be a last-ditch effort at reaching a diplomatic solution with an increasingly volatile North Korea, the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to pass a new round of sanctions on North Korea on Saturday, in hopes of getting Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear program.
It bans North Korean exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood and prohibits countries from hiring additional North Korean labourers.
North Korea's foreign minister said Monday that its nuclear arms were aimed only at the USA, not the rest of the world, and accused America of being the "origin of crisis". The North has learned through decades of US efforts at isolation how to circumvent commercial and financial restrictions, and reluctant powers like China and Russian Federation have often proven half-hearted partners when it comes to policing their ally.
A global pressure campaign on North Korea propelled by sharp new United Nations sanctions received a welcome boost Sunday from China, the North's economic lifeline, as Beijing called on its neighbor to halt its missile and nuclear tests.
Last week, Mr Tillerson said North Korea needed to cease both its missile launches and nuclear weapons tests for talks to begin.
Even as the top U.S. diplomat seeks to ratchet up the pressure, he threw an olive branch to North Korea during remarks to the press on Tuesday: "We hope that at some point, they will begin to understand that and that we would like to sit and have a dialogue with them about the future that will give them the security they seek", he said.
The media, for all its elitist snorting at Trump's "Twitter diplomacy" and his shunning of Obama's "nuance", are now facing an awkward conclusion for their editorial boards-Trump's tough line on China just gained him an enormous victory on the world's stage, and handed China a humiliating defeat. Foreign ministers from China, Russia, South Korea and Japan all spoke with their North Korean counterpart Ri Yong Ho in Manila.
When CBS News visited North Korea in the spring, we watched as Kim unveil a massive new neighborhood of shimmering high rises; his way of showing the world that six previous rounds of United Nations sanctions over more than a decade have not worked. "We will not put our nuclear and ballistic missiles on the table".
The United States has unsuccessfully lobbied for the 27 members of the ASEAN Regional Forum to suspend North Korea's membership.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson confirmed Tuesday that North Korea test launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) for the first time. It also bars new joint ventures with North Korea.
Kim Jong-un is featured in a January 2017 photo. posted on an official regime propaganda website.
There is no pro-China way of spinning this: The Chinese, seen in some circles as an unstoppable behemoth, proved to be a paper tiger on the issue of the North Korea in the face of the tough stance shown by Trump and his administration. It has long accused the United States and South Korea of escalating tensions by conducting military drills.
Tillerson did meet with top diplomats from South Korea and China on Sunday and seemed to get a long-awaited boost from Beijing in exerting pressure on North Korea, as Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi publicly admonished North Korea to abide by the new sanctions. Earlier Pyongyang said it was ready to give Washington a "severe lesson" with its strategic nuclear force in response to any USA military action. But U.S. intelligence officials told Reuters there was still no reliable evidence that North Korea had fully mastered the process.
"The North Koreans contend that they can not relinquish their nuclear program until the USA ends its hostile policies", she said. "But North Korea has been able to evade sanctions in the past, and it's not clear to me things are going to be much different this time".
After touring the site and walking past large stone slabs inscribed with the names of more than 36,000 men and women missing in action in the theatre between 1941 and 1945, Tillerson signed a visitors' book, adding after his signature, "Let us never forget - FREEDOM".
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