Taking a stronger tone on Saturday than it has previously on the standoff, the ASEAN called for North Korea to comply with United Nations Security Council resolutions on its nuclear program, and make a positive contribution to regional peace, said a Reuters report. North Korea’s Rodong Sinmun news website published a scathing commentary dismissing the sanctions as “cooked up by the US”, adding that “the USA mainland is on the crossroads of life and death”.
The U.S. has rejected both proposals, although Tillerson said last week the U.S. was willing to talk with Pyongyang – if the North agrees to abandon its quest for nuclear weapons.
Tillerson says, “We’ll know it when we see it”.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has skipped a dinner in the Philippines for foreign ministers that North Korea’s top diplomat attended.
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho made similar comments during an annual regional security conference in Manila on Monday.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), or North Korea, has assured the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) it will be a “responsible nuclear power” and will pose no threat to other countries – unless they join forces with the United States.
The administration says the resolution could cost the regime $1 billion a year, although sanctions experts say that depends largely on how well they are implemented – especially by China, whose track record on enforcing punitive measures on North Korea is poor. He said the North could still carry out further missile tests or a sixth atomic bomb test in the coming months under its broader weapons development timetable.
In July, North Korea conducted two tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles in violation of previous UN Security Council resolutions. All countries are now banned from importing North Korean coal, iron, lead and seafood products, and from letting in more North Korean laborers whose remittances help fund Kim Jong Un’s regime. The North Korean was spotted at the gala smiling and toasting with the other foreign ministers.
The U.N. Security Council is expected to vote Saturday on a new sanctions resolution that would increase economic pressure on North Korea to return to negotiations on its missile program. Shin Beomchul of the Seoul-based Korea National Diplomatic Academy said sanctions that can force a change from North Korea would include a ban on China’s annual, mostly free shipment of 500,000 tons of crude oil to North Korea and the deporting by United Nations member states of the tens of thousands of North Korean workers now dispatched overseas.
“(The ARF) was a venue where North Korea could keenly feel how isolated its diplomatic position is.
Susan Thornton is the top US diplomat for Asia.
Wang did not disclose what Ri had told him during their meeting.
“It was a good outcome”, Tillerson said Sunday about the sanctions.