S. Korea Seeks Rare Talks with North to Ease Military Tensions

Cheryl Sanders
July 18, 2017

But U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley told the council earlier this month that if it is united, the global community can cut off major sources of hard currency to North Korea, restrict oil to its military and weapons programs, increase air and maritime restrictions, and hold senior officials accountable.

The United States has been trying to get China and Russian Federation to back a new UN Security Council resolution imposing stiffer sanctions on North Korea following its latest missile test.

Pyongyang intends to take retaliatory steps against a proposed UN Security Council resolution that would imply new sanctions against North Korea, the country's Foreign Ministry spokesman said in a statement on Friday.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) says not enough is being done to thwart North Korea's nuclear program.

The North's KCNA news agency quoted an unidentified foreign ministry spokesman as denouncing USA efforts for a new United Nations resolution as a "racket" fabricated by the U.S. to evade its responsibility for having driven the North to "bolster its nuclear force". In all, the North has conducted five nuclear tests and numerous missile tests.

During a UN Security Council meeting last week, Ms Haley threatened secondary sanctions if the council could not agree on new sanctions - though she did not cite China by name. "The last such reunions were almost two years ago".

Fresh US sanctions would be aimed at sending a message to Beijing of Washington's resolve to act further on its own.

The joint statement commits the three leaders to work together to counter the threat from North Korea and "to apply maximum pressure" on Pyongyang "to change its path, refrain from provocative and threatening actions, and take steps necessary to return to serious denuclearization dialogue".

Cui Tiankai, China's ambassador to Washington, said on Monday secondary sanctions were "not acceptable".

Kang Mi-jin, a defector who speaks regularly to market sources inside North Korea and reports commodity prices for Daily NK, said the price spikes in recent weeks were caused initially by the rumors - later confirmed - that China was restricting the flow of oil to North Korea.

"We're not going to be paralysed into inaction".

Shortly after their meeting, Mr Trump said he had told Mr Xi China would get a better trade deal if it reined in North Korea.

"It will be a fatal mistake to consider any chance that the DPRK which rose to a dignified nuclear power and an ICBM state would tolerate the reckless "sanctions" racket of the USA and other hostile forces", it said. In addition, China's imports of coal totalled 2.68 million tonnes in the first half of the year, down 74.5 per cent from the previous year.

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