North Korea voices de­fi­ance of sanc­tions as U.S. presses China.

U.S. presses China to fol­low through on vote

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY HYUNG-JIN KIM

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA | North Korea vowed Mon­day to bol­ster its nu­clear arse­nal and ex­act a “thou­sand-fold” re­venge against the United States in re­sponse to tough U.N. sanc­tions im­posed fol­low­ing its re­cent in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile tests.

The warn­ing came two days af­ter the U.N. Se­cu­rity Coun­cil unan­i­mously ap­proved new sanc­tions to pun­ish North Korea, in­clud­ing a ban on coal and other ex­ports worth over $1 bil­lion. The U.S. am­bas­sador to the U.N., Nikki Ha­ley, called the U.S.-drafted res­o­lu­tion “the sin­gle largest eco­nomic sanc­tions pack­age ever lev­eled against” North Korea.

In a state­ment car­ried by the North’s state-run Korean Cen­tral News Agency, North Korea’s gov­ern­ment said Mon­day that the sanc­tions were a “vi­o­lent in­fringe­ment of its sovereignty” that was caused by a “heinous U.S. plot to iso­late and sti­fle” the coun­try.

“We will make the U.S. pay by a thou­sand-fold for all the heinous crimes it com­mits against the state and peo­ple of this coun­try,” the state­ment said.

The regime of Pres­i­dent Kim Jongun said it would take an un­spec­i­fied “res­o­lute ac­tion of jus­tice” and would never place its nu­clear pro­gram on the ne­go­ti­at­ing ta­ble or “flinch an inch” from its push to strengthen its nu­clear de­ter­rence as long as U.S. hos­til­ity against North Korea per­sists.

North Korean For­eign Min­is­ter Ri Yong-ho made sim­i­lar com­ments dur­ing an an­nual re­gional se­cu­rity con­fer­ence in Manila on Mon­day.

South Korea’s gov­ern­ment said the North would face stronger sanc­tions if it doesn’t stop its nu­clear and mis­sile provo­ca­tion.

In a phone call re­quested by Seoul, Mr. Trump and newly in­stalled South Korean Pres­i­dent Moon Jae-in Sun­day evening com­mit­ted jointly to “fully im­ple­ment all rel­e­vant res­o­lu­tions and to urge the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to do so as well,” the White House said. Mr. Moon’s of­fice said that he and Mr. Trump had agreed to ap­ply “the max­i­mum pres­sure and sanc­tion.”

As Pres­i­dent Trump de­manded full and speedy im­ple­men­ta­tion of the new penal­ties, his top diplo­mat laid out a nar­row path for the North to re­turn to ne­go­ti­a­tions that could ul­ti­mately see sanc­tions lifted. Stop test­ing mis­siles for an “ex­tended pe­riod,” Sec­re­tary of State Rex W. Tiller­son said, and the U.S. might deem North Korea ready to talk.

“We’ll know it when we see it,” Mr. Tiller­son said on the side­lines of a re­gional sum­mit now un­der­way in Manila. “This is not a ‘Give me 30 days and we are ready to talk.’ It’s not quite that sim­ple. So it is all about how we see their at­ti­tude to­wards ap­proach­ing a di­a­logue with us.”

Even as they cel­e­brate a diplo­matic vic­tory in per­suad­ing China and Rus­sia to sign on to cut­ting new sanc­tions, the U.S. and other coun­tries are deeply con­cerned that fail­ure to rig­or­ously en­force them could sig­nif­i­cantly blunt their im­pact. Since Sat­ur­day’s U.N. Se­cu­rity Coun­cil vote, Wash­ing­ton has put Bei­jing in par­tic­u­lar on no­tice that it’s watch­ing closely to en­sure China doesn’t re­peat its pat­tern of car­ry­ing out sanc­tions for a while, then re­turn­ing to busi­ness as usual with the pariah na­tion on its bor­der.

Lim Eul Chul, a North Korea ex­pert at South Korea’s Kyung­nam Univer­sity, said the com­ments by the North demon­strate how an­gry it is over the U.N. sanc­tions, but that the coun­try is not likely to launch a pre-emp­tive strike against the United States. He said the North could still carry out fur­ther mis­sile tests or a sixth atomic bomb test in the com­ing months un­der its broader weapons devel­op­ment timetable.

North Korea test-launched two ICBMs last month as part of its ef­forts to pos­sess a long-range mis­sile ca­pa­ble of strik­ing any­where in the main­land U.S. Both mis­siles were fired at highly lofted an­gles, and an­a­lysts say the weapons could reach parts of the United States such as Alaska, Los An­ge­les or Chicago if fired at a nor­mal, flat­tened tra­jec­tory.

The cen­ter­piece of the U.N. sanc­tions is a ban on North Korean ex­ports of coal, iron, lead and seafood prod­ucts — and a ban on all coun­tries im­port­ing those prod­ucts, es­ti­mated to be worth over $1 bil­lion a year in hard cur­rency. The res­o­lu­tion also bans coun­tries from giv­ing any ad­di­tional per­mits to North Korean la­bor­ers, an­other source of for­eign cur­rency for the North, and pro­hibits all new joint ven­tures with North Korean com­pa­nies.

An­a­lysts say that North Korea, al­ready un­der nu­mer­ous U.N. and other in­ter­na­tional sanc­tions, will feel some pain from the new sanc­tions but is not likely to re­turn to dis­ar­ma­ment ne­go­ti­a­tions any­time soon be­cause of them.

Mr. Lim, the North Korea ex­pert, said the North will prob­a­bly squeeze its or­di­nary cit­i­zens to help fi­nance its nu­clear and mis­sile pro­grams. Shin Beom­chul of the Seoul-based Korea Na­tional Diplo­matic Acad­emy said sanc­tions that can force a change from North Korea would in­clude a ban on China’s an­nual, mostly free ship­ment of 500,000 tons of crude oil to North Korea and the de­port­ing by U.N. mem­ber-states of the tens of thou­sands of North Korean work­ers cur­rently dis­patched abroad.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS PHO­TO­GRAPHS

The regime of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (left) blasted the tough U.N. sanc­tions im­posed on the coun­try. But Sec­re­tary of State Rex W. Tiller­son (cen­ter) ex­pressed con­fi­dence in the U.N.’s vote. “This is not a ‘Give me 30 days and we are ready to talk.’ It’s not quite that sim­ple. So it is all about how we see their at­ti­tude to­wards ap­proach­ing a di­a­logue is with us,” he said of North Korea.

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