Published: Fri, August 11, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

ARF Chairman's Statement Expresses 'Grave Concern' over N. Korea

ARF Chairman's Statement Expresses 'Grave Concern' over N. Korea

While meeting in the Philippines, the UN Security Council voted unanimously against North Korea exporting coal, iron, seafood and all its other main sources of revenue.

China's foreign minister said on Sunday new U.N. Security Council sanctions on North Korea were the right response to a series of missile tests, but dialogue was vital to resolve a complex and sensitive issue, now at a "critical juncture".

Also Monday, the 10 ASEAN foreign ministers plus Japan, China and South Korea held a meeting in which they agreed to bolster financial cooperation to promote economic stability in the region.

Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh praised his Japanese counterpart, Taro Kono, when the two met in Manila on Tuesday for his remarks opposing China's development of military facilities in the South China Sea.

"But the problem is... the deadlock with North Korea refusing to give any opening", the Philippines' top diplomat noted.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is also set to meet Duterte on the sidelines of the event, with those talks expected to cover the Philippine president's controversial drug war that has claimed thousands of lives. "We will be monitoring that carefully and certainly having conversations with any and all that we see who may not be fully embracing not just the spirit of those sanctions but the operational execution of those sanctions".

North Korea condemned the latest round of United Nations sanctions and reiterated that it wouldn't negotiate its nuclear deterrence until the U.S. ceases "hostile" policies.

Tillerson held talks for over an hour with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, who said he believed his USA colleagues were ready to continue dialogue, despite tensions over new sanctions on Moscow.

Japan followed suit by imposing its own sanctions on the Chinese bank - which was found to have opened accounts at two major banks in Japan - and the shipping company, a measure that also drew protests from the Chinese government.

President Donald Trump on Saturday touted new sanctions the U.N. Security Council approved for North Korea, saying they will have a "very big financial impact". He says stopping the launches would be the "first and strongest signal".

Earlier Pyongyang said it was ready to give Washington a "severe lesson" with its strategic nuclear force in response to any USA military action.

John Delury, a China and North Korea expert at Yonsei University in Seoul, noted that the Chinese population that lives along the 800-mile (1,300-km) border with North Korea is already struggling financially. "Sanctions are needed but sanctions are not the final goal", Wang said. As it stands, it does not look like North Korea will budge on US and United Nations demands.

"We will under no circumstances put the nukes and ballistic rockets on the negotiating table", Ri said, warning that North Korea is ready to "teach the USA a severe lesson".

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi says he urged his North Korean counterpart to abide by United Nations resolutions and stop provoking "the worldwide community's goodwill" with missile launches and nuclear tests.

Trump, whose administration is moving to crack down on leaks of USA government information, also retweeted a Fox News report based on anonymous sources that said US spy satellites had detected North Korea moving anti-ship cruise missiles to a patrol boat.

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