As the USA and its allies welcome the latest United Nations sanctions against North Korea as a good, incremental step to increase pressure on the Kim Jong Un regime, a question looms: Will this cause economic pressure strong enough to change Pyongyang’s behavior?
Kim Jong Un’s regime said it will “make the US pay dearly for all the heinous crime it commits against the state and people of this country”, the Korean Central News Agency reported on Monday. At the same time, he revealed Pyongyang’s fear of a USA invasion, saying North Korea is developing nuclear arsenals because historically only nuclear-armed countries have been safe from American military invasion.
North Korean state TV’s famous news anchor defiantly announced that the country would never put its weapons on the negotiating table, despite what the North has labelled “fabricated” United Nations sanctions.
“The North Koreans contend that they can not relinquish their nuclear program until the US ends its hostile policies”, she said.
On Saturday, after weeks of deliberations following North Korea’s first-ever test of an intercontinental-range ballistic missile, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2371.
“The best signal that North Korea can give us that they are prepared to talk would be to stop these missile launches“.
The White House said the two leaders “affirmed that North Korea poses a grave and growing direct threat” to most countries around the world. With the United States homeland looking vulnerable, Donald Trump could soon be facing into his first major foreign crisis, possibly requiring him to make big decisions soon on how to tackle Pyongyang’s provocations. Last month, Trump asserted that North Korea “is behaving in a very unsafe manner, and something will have to be done about it.and probably dealt with rapidly”.
“It is a topic under active consideration here and I would tell you that we would be favorably inclined to do anything which furthers the defensive capabilities of South Korea“, Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis reportedly said. Tillerson is here to attend the 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting and its Dialogue Partners. “The key is that we can not let the situation to continue to escalate, and we need to find an opportunity to turn things around amid the crisis”.
“What (China and Russia) are going to have to do is, they are going to have to stop their nationals and entities and banks from facilitating North Korea’s sanctions evasion”.
South Korea and Japan need to communicate more often in the face of missile and nuclear program of Pyongyang, according to South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha.
Tillerson and the North Korean foreign minister are expected to share a room for talks Tuesday. Ri said the offer “lacks sincerity”, according to the unnamed official.
Yang pointed out that Trump, who took office in January, has not yet appointed an ambassador to South Korea, nor has he chosen a director to deal with North Korean issues in the State Department. “I don’t think that the US has a clear policy on North Korea”.
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 US military action. “This is really about the spirit of these talks”.
Mr Tillerson said halting missile test launches, which have anxious neighbours South Korea and Japan, was a first step toward dialogue.
“Since previous year, when it forcibly implemented two nuclear tests and more than 20 ballistic missile launches, the security threats have entered a new stage”, the Japanese Defence Ministry said in the 563-page document released on Tuesday.
“The North Korean program remains an unconstrained one with neither sanctions nor an operational diplomatic agreement holding it back”, Park said. He called the sanctions “too little, too late” to cut off financing for the nuclear program.