North Korea says more sanctions will spur it to hasten nuclear plans

Cheryl Sanders
September 22, 2017

North Korea, despite pressure from the worldwide community, continues its missile and nuclear tests.

South Korea says the USA military has flown powerful bombers and stealth jets over the Korean Peninsula in joint drills with South Korean warplanes.

But the two recent missile launches over Japan have forced the United States to reconsider its policy, a senior defence official told CNN. "This includes the regime of North Korea, which has once again shown its utter contempt for its neighbors and for the entire world community".

In a phone call on Monday, Mr Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping committed to "maximising pressure on North Korea through vigorous enforcement" of UN Security Council resolutions, the White House said.

President Moon said his country will soon send an official invitation for his Czech counterpart to visit South Korea during the games, set to start February 9.

In remarks to reporters at the Pentagon, Mattis said Monday that if the missiles were perceived as a threat, "that would elicit a different response from us".

Under an agreement reached at bilateral talks in Stockholm in May 2014, North Korea promised to reopen its investigation into the whereabouts of the remaining Japanese abductees and set up a special committee for the probe. Gabriel said that requires direct negotiations with North Korea and argued that the U.S., China and Russian Federation should participate.

He argued that the pressure was working and gave as an example Mexico's decision to expel the North Korean ambassador in Mexico City.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, did not elaborate, but his mention of "enablement" was likely a reference to China, which has frustrated Trump by failing to rein in North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The South Korean president also asked for the republic's support in dealing with provocative North Korea, stressing the need to fundamentally and peacefully resolve the North Korean nuclear issue.

China and Russia have started joint naval drills in the waters near the Russia-North Korea border, local media reported.

The new measures are meant to show solidarity with European Union trade partners South Korea and Japan, and their direct effect is likely to be limited.

The panel of independent experts challenged North Korean officials over allegations of forced child labour, sexual abuse and trafficking in North Korea, Pyongyang's health and education budget, and Internet access for children.

The communist North conducted its sixth and apparently most powerful nuclear test so far on September 3.

The North Korean nuclear threat has ratcheted up in recent months, following new rounds of missile and nuclear weapons tests by Pyongyang.

Other reports by iNewsToday