After Sanctions, China Tentatively Tightens the Screws on North Korea

After Sanctions, China Tentatively Tightens the Screws on North Korea

North Korea vowed Monday to bolster its nuclear arsenal and gain revenge of a "thousand-fold" against the United States in response to tough U.N. sanctions imposed following its recent intercontinental ballistic missile tests. The sanctions include a ban on coal and other exports totaling more than $1 billion.

Concern has mounted that North Korea is developing its missile technology more quickly than expected, after tests last month of missiles that experts said are capable of striking the US mainland, perhaps as far inland as Chicago. "Its content itself is very important and it would have a substantive impact, and we talked a lot about the cooperation of China and Russian Federation during the process", Kang told reporters after the 35-minute session.

The Trump administration's attempts to pressure North Korea into abandoning its nuclear and missile ambitions have so far gained little traction, and Pyongyang has only stepped up its tests, launching two ICBM tests last month.

North Korea tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) capable of hitting the U.S. last month, demonstrating a level of advancement that surprised even the Pentagon. The sanctions also halt any expansion of North Korea's guest-worker programs in other countries.

The media, for all its elitist snorting at Trump's "Twitter diplomacy" and his shunning of Obama's "nuance", are now facing an awkward conclusion for their editorial boards-Trump's tough line on China just gained him an enormous victory on the world's stage, and handed China a humiliating defeat.

Washington and its allies "should not forget that we are ready to ruthlessly take strategic measures involving physical actions by fully mobilizing our national power", a spokesperson for the North Korean Asia-Pacific Peace Committee said in a statement published by the official news agency KCNA.

In a statement to the Manila forum on Monday, Pyongyang said it would never place its nuclear program on the negotiating table as long as the United States maintained a hostile policy against the North.

U.S. President Donald Trump may have talked "fire and fury" against North Korea if the rogue state threatened the U.S.

And if that wasn't clear enough, last month, the isolated Asian nation tested intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that experts say could reach US shores, specifically Alaska.

In characteristically understated fashion, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said of the United Nations action, "It was a good outcome".

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi urged "the North Korean side to calmly handle the resolutions". It also limits the number of North Koreans permitted to work overseas, and bars countries from entering into new joint ventures with North Korea or investing in current ones. There was no official discussion or talks between the two ministers at the time.

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.

At the ASEAN meeting, Tillerson also met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines, their first encounter since new USA sanctions on Russia were approved overwhelmingly by Congress and signed into law grudgingly by Trump.

Kim Jong-un is featured in a January 2017 photo. posted on an official regime propaganda website. He wouldn't give a concrete timeframe but said that the USA would "know it when we see it". US officials rejected Beijing's call for the North to halt its nuclear program in exchange for the United States and South Korea suspending joint military exercises, which Pyongyang considers a prelude to an invasion and regime change.

According to a 2016 United Nations report, Sudan has bought ground-to-air missiles from a North Korean front company under sanctions since 2009. But Wang also called on the United States to dial back the tension.

For Tillerson's interlocutors worldwide, this is beginning to be a familiar experience: When the top USA diplomat meets with counterparts, many are finding that he's arriving prepared with information on their countries' connections to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and suggestions on how they can reduce them.