North Korea sticks to its nuclear dreams despite China's warnings

North Korea sticks to its nuclear dreams despite China's warnings

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson gestures before the 10th Lower Mekong Initiative Ministerial Meeting at the sideline of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Foreign Ministers' Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings in Manila, Philippines, Aug. 6, 2017.

On Saturday, the United Nations Security Council unanimously approved tough new sanctions against North Korea that include a ban on coal and other exports worth over $1 billion - a huge bite in its total exports, valued at $3 billion previous year.

Trump hailed the vote saying in a tweet that the sanctions will have "very big financial impact", and thanked Russian Federation and China for backing a measure that either could have halted with their United Nations veto. But they appeared to take pains to avoid a casual meeting.

Tillerson, who was scheduled to attend a gala dinner Sunday, skipped it. Ri did not.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong Ho that Pyongyang's provocations are "reaching the tipping point" when the two met in Manila on August 6 on the sideline of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum.

Ri did not respond publicly.

Ri also said the North "is ready to teach the USA a severe lesson with its nuclear strategic force... should the US pounce upon [North Korea] with military force at last".

On Saturday, the UNSC adopted a fresh sanctions resolution unanimously to punish the North for its two claimed intercontinental ballistic missile launches in July. These block North Korean sales of coal, iron and iron ore, lead and lead ore, and seafood.

And the editorial itself sounded a resigned note about what will happen now that the sanctions have been passed: "Judging from past experience, the North Korean side will prepare a tough response to the resolution, and the US, Japan, and other countries will use the chance to conduct military activities, which will directly cause the situation to escalate". Tens of thousands of them return hard currency to the increasingly isolated regime. "We haven't really discussed that among ourselves", said Philippine acting Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo of the USA call to minimize relations with Pyongyang.

North Korea said the sanctions infringed its sovereignty and it was ready to give Washington a "severe lesson" with its strategic nuclear force in response to any USA military action.

"China probably wants to avert more United States secondary sanctions". Very big financial impact!

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There was no direct reaction from North Korea to Tillerson's remarks but in a statement after the USA secretary of state made his comments, Pyongyang responded robustly to the new sanctions by saying it was ready to teach the United States a "severe lesson" if it attacked.

Reuters reported that Wang said the United Nations resolution also made clear that the six-party talks process, a "stalled dialogue mechanism with North Korea that also includes Russian Federation and Japan", should be resurrected.

Back in the U.S., President Trump also celebrated the new sanctions with several tweets and a statement from his press secretary Sarah Sanders late Saturday night.

Moon's office said that he and Trump had agreed to apply "the maximum pressure and sanction".

"We felt that our American counterparts need to keep the dialogue open", Lavrov said.

Still, he maintained the pressure on North Korea, pressing Thailand on Tuesday for more action against Pyongyang.

But the USA has long said it would agree to talk only if North Korea agrees to denuclearization - something many analysts believe is unlikely with North Korea's weapons program having progressed as far as it has.

Trump's administration began floating potential plans to punish China for its trade practices in what was widely perceived as a reaction to China's inaction on North Korea. "At the end of the day, it will take more than sanctions". "It is China", Wang, the Chinese foreign minister, said Sunday. Yang of the University of North Korean Studies said the Trump administration is lacking in the strategy department. "They never have and likely never will".

Ri described North Korea's missiles and nuclear weapons as defensive measures against what he called the threat of annihilation by the United States.

"It's a wild idea to think the DPRK will be shaken and change its position due to this kind of new sanctions formulated by hostile forces", said the statement, which was published by the North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

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