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Trump praises new United Nations sanctions on North Korea
12 August 2017, 10:34 | Terri Saunders
Trump touts new sanctions on North Korea
"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". Wang, however, quickly added, "Of course, we would like to urge other parties like the USA and South Korea to stop increasing tensions". An announcement was initially planned for last Friday but was postponed, apparently after China softened its resistance to new United Nations sanctions, diplomats said.
North Korea's foreign minister dismissed South Korea's recent offer for talks as "lacking sincerity" during his brief encounter with Seoul's top diplomat on the sidelines of an Asian security forum in Manila on Sunday, according to a Seoul government source. But there were no signs the USA would acquiesce to China's call for a quick return to negotiations.
A few hours later, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that Trump commended the Security Council for its action and appreciated the cooperation of China and Russian Federation in passing the resolution. The greatest economic sanctions package ever levied against them, it'll cost about $1 billion.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. There was no official discussion or talks between the two ministers at the time.
After that he and his senior aides sat down first with Myanmar's minister of state for foreign affairs, Kyaw Tin, then with South Korea's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-Wha.
Kang chimed in: "It was a very, very good outcome".
While both the US and China told reporters they were negotiating a resolution, with China and Russia's business interests dominating their respective agendas there seemed no reason for them to change their approach.
But the diplomatic road ahead is rocky. Earlier Pyongyang said it was ready to give Washington a "severe lesson" with its strategic nuclear force in response to any USA military action. The picture above from 2013 shows leader Kim Jong Un ordering strategic rocket forces to be on standby to strike US and South Korean targets at any time.
Susan Thornton is the top USA diplomat for Asia.
Another diplomat, however, said there was no real disagreement on the contents of the communique and stressed that the initial draft was seen by some members as weak.
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As a matter of urgency, Ruggiero argued, the US should punish Chinese banks and companies helping North Korea evade sanctions. It has urged North Korea to halt future ballistic missile and nuclear tests, while also calling on the USA and South Korea to cease military exercises. The response has been polite but noncommittal. Ri also said Pyongyang will "under no circumstances" negotiate anything to do with its nuclear or ballistic missile programs.
North Korea has been under United Nations sanctions since 2006.
Tillerson met for about an hour with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Tillerson, in his most specific outline to date of what preconditions the USA had for talks with Pyongyang, said stopping the launches would be the "first and strongest signal".
"Sanction is necessary, but sanction is not the ultimate goal", Wang told reporters. She added: "I think escalating the rhetoric is the wrong answer".
Delegates are working to establish the framework for a code of conduct in the South China Sea that would reaffirm respect for the freedom of navigation and overflight, and outline how to arbitrate disputes. Has China been cowed by Trump's pressure into a more accommodating position?
The United States is particularly concerned about Islamist militants gaining a foothold in the Philippines, after being pushed out of Syria and Iraq. The country is celebrating the ICBM test launches with a series of commemorative stamps.
Tillerson started the day on a somber note when he visited the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, where 17,000 American and Philippine troops who fought in the Pacific during World War II are buried.
Speaking at the same forum on Monday, Tillerson held a door open for dialogue with North Korea saying Washington was willing to talk to Pyongyang if it halted its missile test launches.
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On one issue there is unanimity of opinion: There are no good military options to take out North Korea's arsenal pre-emptively. On Friday, he tweeted: "Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded , should North Korea act unwisely".
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