North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho said on Monday that the North is a “responsible nuclear power” and refused to sit down for talks unless the U.S.
Two unprecedented tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles by North Korea last month were the latest signs that its weapons program is approaching the point of no return.
Responding to the ICBM provocation with a show of force, the US and South Korean troops on Wednesday conducted “deep strike” precision missile drills using Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) and the Republic of Korea’s Hyunmoo Missile II.
North Korea’s apparently rapid progress in developing nuclear weapons and missiles capable of reaching the US mainland has fueled tensions that erupted into a war of words between Washington and Pyongyang this week, unnerving regional powers and global investors.
The United States did not seek regime change, the collapse of the regime, an accelerated reunification of the peninsula or an excuse to send the US military into North Korea, Tillerson said.
They also approximate a trade embargo by targeting some of North Korea’s biggest exports, including coal.
In the context of North Korea’s rapidly advancing intercontinental ballistic missile program, these threats can not be ignored.
Trump said he did not want to talk about diplomatic “back channels” with North Korea after USA media reports that Joseph Yun, the US envoy for North Korea policy, has engaged in diplomacy for several months with Pak Song Il, a senior diplomat at Pyongyang’s United Nations mission, on the deteriorating relations and the issue of Americans imprisoned in North Korea.
In a separate statement to reporters in Manila, North Korea called President Donald Trump’s “America First” policy unsafe and said its nuclear programme was necessary to avoid a U.S. invasion similar to those in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.
North Korea is ready to give the United States a “severe lesson” with its strategic nuclear force if it takes military action against it, and will not put its nuclear program or its missiles on the negotiating table, it said in a statement to a regional meeting on Monday.
Earlier this month, the White House moved to start investigating China’s trade practises, in what many saw as retaliation for their perceived inaction on North Korea.
On preconditions for reopening talks with North Korea, Tillerson said “we’ll know it when we see it”.
A US strike against North Korea would need the support of South Korea, he said, because the North would likely retaliate against the South and its 600,000 troops.
Tillerson’s remarks might be an attempt to try another tack by the United States, which also has tried to get Pyongyang’s ally China to use its influence to prevent North Korean leader Kim Jong Un from building a nuclear arsenal.
Lavrov said the risks of a military conflict over North Korea’s nuclear program are very high and Moscow is deeply anxious by the threats from both sides. The North’s bloated army is believed to outnumber its southern neighbor’s by two-to-one.
With the recent increase in hostility, what would success from the Trump administration’s new sanctions even on North Korea look like? But he also said that sanctions, while needed, “are not the final goal”, and he called for dialogue.
“We think all of the countries in the region should agree that while they have this diplomatic process going on that they would stop improving or expanding or militarizing any of their outposts”, Thornton said.
The sanctions also bar countries from employing North Korean laborers commissioned to work overseas. The administration holds in reserve a list of Chinese banks and other firms the Treasury Department has been preparing to sanction for their alleged ties to North Korea’s military programs.