Trump hails U.N. vote to in­crease sanc­tions on North Korea.

Res­o­lu­tion came with sup­port from China, Rus­sia

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY GUY TAY­LOR ● This ar­ti­cle is based in part on wire ser­vice re­ports.

The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion says it has new mo­men­tum to ex­pand in­ter­na­tional pres­sure on North Korea fol­low­ing a unan­i­mous U.N. Se­cu­rity Coun­cil vote to ramp up eco­nomic sanc­tions as pun­ish­ment for Py­ongyang’s re­cent long-range bal­lis­tic mis­sile tests.

Pres­i­dent Trump hailed a Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tion that passed Satur­day with co­op­er­a­tion from both Rus­sia and China, North Korea’s neigh­bor and main trad­ing part­ner. The pres­i­dent tweeted that the de­vel­op­ment is “the sin­gle largest eco­nomic sanc­tions pack­age ever on North Korea” and will have a “very big fi­nan­cial im­pact.”

News of the sanc­tions, which seek to ban North Korea from ex­port­ing coal, iron, lead and seafood worth about a third of its to­tal in­come from trade, came as Sec­re­tary of State Rex Tiller­son ar­rived over the week­end at an an­nual diplo­matic gath­er­ing in East Asia, where Chi­nese of­fi­cials ex­pressed cau­tious sup­port for the de­vel­op­ment.

Chi­nese For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi, who held sep­a­rate meet­ings Sun­day with Mr. Tiller­son and with North Korea’s top diplo­mat, publicly urged Py­ongyang to “main­tain calm” and “not vi­o­late the U.N.’s de­ci­sion or pro­voke in­ter­na­tional so­ci­ety’s goodwill by con­duct­ing mis­sile launch­ing or nu­clear tests.”

Mr. Wang’s com­ments ap­peared to sig­nal progress in the long-elu­sive U.S. strat­egy of try­ing to deepen Chi­nese co­op­er­a­tion to­ward more ag­gres­sively im­ple­ment­ing sanc­tions against North Korea. How­ever, there were also indi­ca­tions that Bei­jing re­mains wary about tak­ing a lead role in con­tain­ing Py­ongyang.

“Who has been car­ry­ing out the U.N. Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tions con­cern­ing North Korea? It is China,” said Mr. Wang in Manila on Sun­day. “Who bore the cost? It is also China.”

Mr. Tiller­son also met with his South Korean coun­ter­part Sun­day and A White House of­fi­cial said South Korean Pres­i­dent Moon Jae-in had asked to speak with Mr. Trump by phone Sun­day night. The White House said it would pro­vide de­tails of their con­ver­sa­tion later.

The Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tion, drafted by U.S. of­fi­cials and care­fully ne­go­ti­ated with the Chi­nese, seeks to in­crease pres­sure on Py­ongyang to re­turn to stalled in­ter­na­tional ne­go­ti­a­tions over its nu­clear weapons and bal­lis­tic mis­sile pro­grams.

U.S. and Chi­nese of­fi­cials don’t ex­actly see eye-to-eye on the prospect of such ne­go­ti­a­tions. The per­cep­tion is that China wants ne­go­ti­a­tions to oc­cur more rapidly than Wash­ing­ton, while the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion, which has flirted with the al­ter­na­tive idea of back­ing all-out regime change in Py­ongyang, has ex­pressed frus­tra­tion that the Chi­nese aren’t putting enough pres­sure on the North Kore­ans.

Dur­ing his ini­tial months in of­fice, Mr. Trump voiced op­ti­mism about China’s role, but has more re­cently lev­eled veiled crit­i­cism at Bei­jing, say­ing at one point that Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping had “tried” to help on North Korea and it “has not worked out.”

The ad­min­is­tra­tion has also teased the idea of ex­pend­ing Wash­ing­ton’s own uni­lat­eral North Korea sanc­tions to tar­get Chi­nese com­pa­nies as pun­ish­ment for China’s on­go­ing trade with Py­ongyang and over­all per­ceived in­ac­tion on North Korea.

Some an­a­lysts go so far as to claim Bei­jing tac­itly backs Py­ongyang to an­tag­o­nize Wash­ing­ton and main­tain a strate­gic se­cu­rity edge in the re­gion.

Mr. Tiller­son said noth­ing publicly about North Korea fol­low­ing his meet­ing with Mr. Wang on Sun­day, but did ex­press broad op­ti­mism ear­lier in the day, call­ing the U.N. Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tion “a good out­come.” The coun­cil voted 15-0 on the new sanc­tions, which, if fully im­ple­mented, could de­liver a $3 bil­lion blow to rev­enues Py­ongyang gets from ex­ports to China and a hand­ful of other trad­ing part­ners. The sanc­tions also aim to block coun­tries from giv­ing any ad­di­tional per­mits to North Korean work­ers, an­other source of money for Kim Jong-un’s regime in Py­ongyang.

The vote fol­lowed the regime’s first suc­cess­ful tests of in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­siles ca­pa­ble of reach­ing the U.S. last month. White House press sec­re­tary Sarah Huck­abee San­ders said Satur­day that Mr. Trump “ap­pre­ci­ates China’s and Rus­sia’s co­op­er­a­tion in se­cur­ing pas­sage of this res­o­lu­tion.”

U.S. Am­bas­sador to the U.N. Nikki Ha­ley said the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil had suc­ceeded in putting the Kim regime “on no­tice” and “what hap­pens next is up to North Korea.” Even prom­i­nent crit­ics of Mr. Trump said the vote was an im­por­tant step. For­mer U.S. am­bas­sador to Rus­sia Michael McFaul called the vote “a gen­uine for­eign pol­icy achieve­ment.”

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Bol­stered by new harsher sanc­tions from the U.N., the U.S. and North Korea’s neigh­bors are join­ing to iso­late Py­ongyang over its mis­sile pro­gram.

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