After Sanctions, China Tentatively Tightens the Screws on North Korea

Elias Hubbard
August 12, 2017

He says the only way that would change is if another country joined in an American action against North Korea.

Secretary Tillerson is in Manila, where he will participate in #ASEAN2017 and discuss #DPRK, regional security.

The United States does not seek regime change, the collapse of the regime, an accelerated reunification of the peninsula or an excuse to send the USA military into North Korea, Tillerson said.

US officials have been adamant there will be no direct meetings with North Koreans in Manila, even among lower-level officials. The sanctions also halt any expansion of North Korea's guest-worker programs in other countries.

And if that wasn't clear enough, last month, the isolated Asian nation tested intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that experts say could reach US shores, specifically Alaska. The committee, affiliated with the Workers' Party of North Korea, also accused the United States of forcing other countries to adopt the sanctions through fear, and dismissed the UN resolution as a terrorist act against Pyongyang. It also prohibits countries from increasing the number of North Koreans working overseas and bans new joint ventures with the North as well as any new investment in current joint ventures.

A scheduled meeting on the sidelines of the summit between Mr Wang and his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Binh Minh was called off as Vietnam asked ASEAN foreign ministers to include in a communiqué its concerns about China's militarisation of land in the South China Sea. A senior aide to Tillerson told ABC News that China signing off on anything is a major accomplishment.

Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho also says that his country has no intention of using nuclear weapons against any country "except the U.S".

But it remains to be seen how strongly China, North Korea's largest trading partner, will implement the new sanctions.

China appreciated comments earlier this month by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that the United States does not seek to topple the North Korean government and would like dialogue with Pyongyang at some point, Wang added.

"Tillerson said the latest resolution would serve as a strong tool for the US' global pressure campaign, and it would persistently work to drive China's resolve for enforcement", the official said, quoting him as saying "action speaks louder than words". While the US position is that North Korea must ultimately give up its nukes, the North insists it must keep them.

Tillerson told reporters that he and Kang would be discussing the next steps to take on North Korea. "Our goal is to bring all parties involved in the nuclear issues back to the negotiation table".

The U.S. -drafted measure, negotiated with North Korea's neighbor and ally China, is aimed at increasing economic pressure on Pyongyang to return to negotiations on its nuclear and missile programs.

In July, North Korea conducted two tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) in violation of previous UNSC resolutions, with the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) stating that the second test, carried out on July 28, was successful. North Korea has used United States military exercises in the region as means of galvanizing its people, claiming that the exercises are dress rehearsals for an impending invasion.

US officials and United Nations diplomats say the threat of unilateral U.S.

Thornton says the USA wants to ensure that with the new sanctions, there's "not this kind of episodic back and forth that we've seen".

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

Asean's deadlock over the statement highlights China's growing influence on the grouping at a time of uncertainty over the new U.S. administration's security priorities and whether it will try to keep China's maritime activities in check. "Its content itself is very important and it would have a substantive impact, and we talked a lot about the cooperation of China and Russian Federation during the process", Kang told reporters after the 35-minute session.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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