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Asean & Global Updates
POSTED | 16:12 PM | 06-08-2017

US and China pressure North Korea

The United States and China piled pressure on North Korea on Sunday (August 6, 2017) to abandon its nuclear missile program after the UN Security Council approved tough sanctions which could cost Pyongyang $1 billion a year.

One day after Council members voted unanimously for a partial ban on exports aimed at slashing Pyongyang’s foreign revenue by a third, top diplomats from the key powers in the dispute met in Manila.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he was encouraged by the vote, but officials warned that Washington would closely watch China -- North Korea’s biggest trade partner -- to ensure sanctions are enforced, AFP reported.

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi met his North Korean counterpart Ri Hong-Yo before a major regional security forum being hosted by the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

He urged the North to halt its nuclear and ballistic missile tests.

“It will help the DPRK to make the right and smart decision,” Wang told reporters, speaking through a translator, after talks with Ri -- referring to the sanctions and to Ri’s presence in Manila.

Pyongyang’s top envoy has so far avoided the media in Manila.

But in a characteristically fiery editorial before the latest sanctions were approved, the North’s ruling party newspaper Rodong Sinmun warned against US aggression.

“The day the US dares tease our nation with a nuclear rod and sanctions, the mainland US will be catapulted into an unimaginable sea of fire,” it said.

Tillerson also met Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and was to see Wang later on Sunday, seeking to intensify Kim Jong-Un’s diplomatic isolation and reduce the risk of renewed conflict.

“It was a good outcome,” Tillerson said of the UN vote, before a meeting with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-Wha.

Senior US envoy Susan Thornton said Washington was “still going to be watchful” on the implementation of sanctions, cautioning that previous votes had been followed by China “slipping back.”

But she added China’s support for the UN resolution “shows that they realize that this is a huge problem that they need to take on.”

 

 

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