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S. Korea, US, Japan vow to fully implement new NK sanctions

13 August 2017, 03:09 | Darnell Patrick

Kang Kyung-hwa shakes hands with Rex Tillerson

Kang Kyung-hwa shakes hands with Rex Tillerson

With the regime's latest long-range ballistic missile tests, North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho was again isolated from the sole multilateral forum Pyongyang takes part in.

The ASEAN ministers called for a "complete, verifiable and irreversible" denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and for all parties to exercise "self-restraint" to deescalate the tensions and create an atmosphere conducive to talks. In two tests last month, North Korea demonstrated it could hit major population centers in the USA, and the country is now working to flawless the technology to allow those missiles to carry nuclear warheads.

China has repeatedly said it is committed to enforcing increasingly tough United Nations resolutions on North Korea, though it has also said what it terms "normal" trade and ordinary North Koreans should not be affected.

The secretary of State said one of the next steps is "obviously are to see that the Security Council resolution sanctions are enforced by everyone".

In his opening remarks for the Ministerial Meeting, Tillerson said that among the issues that have been discussed between him and the ASEAN officials are "a number of matters of mutual security interest, and a number of economic areas of interest".

BEIJING-China will pay the biggest price from the new United Nations sanctions against North Korea because of its close economic relationship with the country, but will always enforce the resolutions, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.

"I think perhaps the more important element to that is just the message that this sends to North Korea about the unacceptability the entire global community finds what they're doing to be", he said. A statement from the White House says Trump and Moon "affirmed that North Korea poses a grave and growing direct threat to the United States, South Korea, and Japan, as well as to most countries around the world".

The sanctions can work only if North Korean leader Kim Jong Un concludes he has too much to lose by hanging on to his weapons.

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But he applauded the Security Council vote on Twitter.

Ahead of the meetings, outspoken Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte branded Kim Jong Un as "crazy" for "playing with risky toys" that endangered the entire region.

He apparently was referring to his government's proposal of holding military and humanitarian talks with the north that contrasted with the more hardline USA position of stepping up sanctions and military pressure on the isolated communist state.

North Korea "will make the USA pay dearly for all the heinous crimes it commits against the state and people of this country", the statement said.

Tillerson aide R.C. Hammond says that after a productive first day, Tillerson has taken time to prepare for Day 2.

Should those talks occur, they would be the first military-to-military dialogue in three years.

Seoul had recently tested the missile shield successfully amid tests carried out by North Korea. Those capabilities are already a threat to neighbors and US allies South Korea and Japan.

South Korea's central bank reported last month that the North Korean economy grew by 3.9 percent in 2016, the healthiest growth in a decade-and-a-half.



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