North Korea defies US, China, says nukes non-negotiable

The U.N. Security Council unanimously imposed sanctions on North Korea aimed at pressuring Pyongyang to end its nuclear program.

In Kang's later meeting with Wang, however, China expressed doubts about the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system's ability to protect South Korea.

A global pressure campaign on North Korea propelled by sharp new United Nations sanctions received a welcome boost Sunday from China, the North's economic lifeline, as Beijing called on its neighbor to halt its missile and nuclear tests.

Wang spoke to reporters in Manila after meeting with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho on the sidelines of a regional meeting after the United Nations.

"We are at a point in time where choices will have to be made one way or the other", Gen. Mark Milley, the Army chief of staff, said recently.

Russian Ambassador Vasily Nebenzia said sanctions are not an end in themselves but a means to engage Pyongyang in constructive talks.

The North 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 USA hostility against North Korea persists. The new measures, which expand the existing sanctions, were a response to five nuclear tests and four long-range missile launches. They include a ban on all exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood. It also prohibits countries from increasing the current numbers of North Korean laborers working overseas, bans new joint ventures with North Korea and any new investment in current joint ventures. Following its second test on July 28, the USA reached a deal on the sanctions with China, the North's top trading partner and ally.

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Wang met his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong Ho on Sunday for bilateral talks that started off in a cordial way, with Ri smiling continuously as the two shook hands. Instead, Ri's spokesman handed reporters a copy of a speech that Ri had given at the meeting.

"We'll know it when we see it", Tillerson said. "The Chinese side urged the North Korean side to calmly handle the resolutions the U.N. Security Council just made towards North Korea and to not do anything unbeneficial towards the worldwide community such as a nuclear test".

Wang earlier said it was important that Ri is attending the Manila meetings "so he can listen to suggestions from various parties and has the right to present his views".

Tillerson's comments at a regional security forum in Manila were the latest U.S. attempt to rein in Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs after months of tough talk from U.S. President Donald Trump. She says it was a "very, very good outcome". Instead, the USA was represented at the dinner by Thornton, whose official title is acting assistant secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs. But it's also more responsible and realistic.

The meeting comes as the US and Asian nations join together to try to step up Pyongyang's economic and diplomatic isolation.

China is sensitive about ASEAN including even veiled references to the expansion of its military capabilities on the islands.

Joel Wit, director of 38 North, a Washington-based North Korea monitoring project, said he did not think North Korea would agree to a suspension of missile tests unilaterally as a precondition to talks without, for example a suspension of large-scale military exercises held regularly by the United States and South Korea, which it has denounced as a prelude for invasion.

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