T Rex presses China to act

Winnipeg Sun - - NEWS - — The As­so­ci­ated Press

LONDON — U.S. Sec­re­tary of State Rex Tiller­son Thurs­day urged China to use its lever­age as North Korea’s prin­ci­pal sup­plier of oil to press the iso­lated na­tion into re­con­sid­er­ing its de­vel­op­ment of nu­clear weapons.

The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion sought an em­bargo on oil im­ports to North Korea at the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil this week in re­sponse to the North’s most pow­er­ful nu­clear test to date.

But op­po­si­tion from China and Rus­sia forced the UN to ap­prove weaker mea­sures, al­though it did ban tex­tile ex­ports, an im­por­tant source of its rev­enue for the North.

Tiller­son said it was go­ing to be “very dif­fi­cult” to get China to con­sent to an em­bargo against its neigh­bour, but he still urged China as a “great coun­try and a world power” to use its lever­age as the sup­plier of vir­tu­ally all North Korea’s oil.

“That is a very pow­er­ful tool and it has been used in the past,” Tiller­son said at a news con­fer­ence. “We hope China will not re­ject that.”

He spoke af­ter talks with Bri­tain and France on how to in­crease pres­sure on the au­thor­i­tar­ian gov­ern­ment of Kim Jong Un as it moves closer to hav­ing a nu­cle­artipped mis­sile that could threaten the Amer­i­can main­land.

China op­poses North Korea’s nu­clear weapons de­vel­op­ment but wor­ries that greater eco­nomic pres­sure on the North could trig­ger a col­lapse.

It wants the U.S. to restart long-stalled ne­go­ti­a­tions with North Korea.

The U.S., Bri­tain and France are the other per­ma­nent mem­bers of the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, the UN’s most pow­er­ful de­ci­sion-mak­ing body.

REX TILLER­SON

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