North Korea de­fi­ant af­ter new sanc­tions, re­jects talks

Ma­jor ally China piles on pres­sure vow­ing to fully im­ple­ment new sanc­tions

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

Manila, Philip­pines - North Korea vowed on Mon­day that tough new United Na­tions sanc­tions would not stop it from de­vel­op­ing its nu­clear arse­nal, as it re­jected talks and an­grily warned the United States of re­tal­i­a­tion.

The mes­sage of de­fi­ance was the first ma­jor re­sponse to the US-drafted sanc­tions, which the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil unan­i­mously ap­proved over the week­end and which could cost North Korea US$1bn a year.

The North’s sole ma­jor ally China, ac­cused by the United States of do­ing too lit­tle to rein in Py­ongyang, piled on the diplo­matic pres­sure by vow­ing to fully im­ple­ment the new sanc­tions.

“We will un­der no cir­cum­stances put the nukes and bal­lis­tics rock­ets on (the) ne­go­ti­at­ing ta­ble,” North Korean For­eign Min­is­ter Ri Yong-Ho said in a state­ment re­leased in the Philip­pine cap­i­tal Manila where he was at­tend­ing a re­gional se­cu­rity fo­rum. “Nei­ther shall we flinch even an inch from the road to bol­ster­ing up the nu­clear forces cho­sen by our­selves un­less the hos­tile pol­icy and nu­clear threat of the US against the DPRK (North Korea) are fun­da­men­tally elim­i­nated.”

In an ear­lier state­ment re­leased via its of­fi­cial KCNA news agency, North Korea threat­ened to make the United States ‘pay the price for its crime... thou­sands of times’ for draft­ing the sanc­tions.

Ri was among two dozen min-

is­ters at­tend­ing the se­cu­rity fo­rum, in­clud­ing Chi­nese For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi, US Sec­re­tary of State Rex Tiller­son and top diplo­mats from other Asia-Pa­cific na­tions.

For his part, Tiller­son ruled out a quick re­turn to di­a­logue with North Korea, say­ing Wash­ing­ton

would only con­sider talks if Py­ongyang halted its bal­lis­tic mis­sile pro­gramme.

“The best sig­nal that North Korea could send that they’re pre­pared to talk would be to stop these mis­sile launches,” Tiller­son told re­porters.

Tiller­son did hold out the prospect of US en­voys at some point sit­ting down with Py­ongyang, but he re­fused to say how long the North might have to re­frain from test­ing more long-range mis­siles be­fore­hand.

“I’m not go­ing to give some­one a spe­cific num­ber of days or weeks. This is re­ally about the spirit of these talks,” he said.

The sanc­tions were in re­sponse to the North’s two in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile tests last month, af­ter which Kim boasted that he could now strike any part of the United States.

Tiller­son, who held sep­a­rate talks in Manila with Yi and Rus­sian For­eign Min­is­ter Sergei Lavrov, also sought to em­pha­sise a united stance against the North.

“It’s quite clear in terms of there be­ing no day­light be­tween the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity as to the ex­pec­ta­tion that North Korea will take steps to achieve all of my ob­jec­tives, which is a de­nu­cle­arised Korean penin­sula,” he said.

We will un­der no cir­cum­stances put the nukes and bal­lis­tics rock­ets on (the) ne­go­ti­at­ing ta­ble

Ri Yong-Ho

(AFP)

UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil mem­bers vote on a res­o­lu­tion tough­en­ing sanc­tions on North Korea, at the UN Head­quar­ters in New York on Sat­ur­day

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