Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Trump tries diplomacy in countering North Korea's nuclear provocation

Trump tries diplomacy in countering North Korea's nuclear provocation

A statement from the White House says Trump and Moon "affirmed that North Korea poses a grave and growing direct threat to the United States, South Korea, and Japan, as well as to most countries around the world".

North Korea will not be ousted from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum, the lone security summit where Pyongyang sends its top envoy to engage in dialogue with other foreign ministers, Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said Tuesday.

A similar stance was also emphasized in an earlier statement made via the North Korean regime's official KCNA news agency, in which the North threatened to take "righteous action" and make the U.S. "pay the price for its crime... thousands of times" for drafting the sanctions.

The North Korean government said in a statement that the sanctions were a "violent infringement of its sovereignty" drawn up by a "heinous U.S. plot to isolate and stifle" the country.

Wang Yi said that sanctions were "necessary, but not the end goal" and are aimed at bringing North Korea to the negotiating table.

Before Tillerson's trip, the USA had said he had no plans to interact with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho.

Hecker said North Korea does not have a sophisticated nuclear weapon like those of the U.S., Russia, Britain, China or France, the major nuclear superpowers.

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"We will make the USA pay by a thousand-fold for all the heinous crimes it commits against the state and people of this country", the statement said.

"Watching them go frantic only redoubles the DPRK's pride in the country's great might and reaffirms its faith that the path it had chosen is the only way to survive and prosper", the mission's statement said.

Lee Choon-geun, senior research fellow at South Korea's state-run Science and Technology Policy Institute, said there was a risk that any missile could land much closer to Guam than planned.

China's foreign minister warned on Sunday that the sanctions - which could slash by a third Pyongyang's $3bn (€2.5bn) annual export revenue - would result in the North Korean nuclear issue entering "a very critical phase".

"We emphasized the importance of non-militarization and self-restraint in the conduct of all activities by claimants and all other states", the communique, which came as Beijing and ASEAN signed a code of conduct for the South China Sea, said.

A defiant Pyongyang accused Washington of rigging the unanimous vote by the UN Security Council last Saturday to impose tougher sanctions on the communist state, which tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles last month. North Korea has used USA military exercises in the region as means of galvanizing its people, claiming that the exercises are dress rehearsals for an impending invasion.

China has taken some unilateral actions to tighten the screws on North Korea, including banning all coal imports into the country in February. But, he added, "this is not a 'Give me 30 days and we are ready to talk.' It's not quite that simple".

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"We will see what happens".

"When it comes to the South China Sea, of course Japan doesn't want to see a diminished US presence", he said.

"It is conceivable that North Korea's nuclear weapons programme has already considerably advanced and it is possible that North Korea has already achieved the miniaturisation of nuclear weapons and has acquired nuclear warheads", it said.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters in Manila that Beijing wanted North and South Korea to fix their relationship and praised what he described as Mr Moon's "positive" overtures. North Korea's ruling Kim family is homicidal, but it has not survived for three generations by being suicidal.

"China calls on all relevant sides to uphold the broad direction of resolving the North Korean nuclear issue through political means", the statement said.

"Since past year, when it forcibly implemented two nuclear tests and more than 20 ballistic missile launches, the security threats have entered a new stage", it said in its annual defense white paper.

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