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North Korea threatening missile strike on Guam, report says

12 August 2017

The U.N. Security Council unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea on Saturday that could slash the Asian state's $3 billion annual export revenue by a third, over Pyongyang's two intercontinental ballistic missile tests in July.

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".

The latest, US -drafted resolution bans North Korean exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood and prohibits countries from hiring additional North Korean laborers.

The United States says it will be watching China closely to ensure it fully and continuously implements new U.N. sanctions on North Korea.

In a press briefing held Tuesday, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha also said that the Seoul government could secure support from ASEAN countries in its approach toward the North that focuses on not only sanctions and pressure but also talks aimed at easing tensions. "Very big financial impact!"

"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.

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Tillerson aide R.C. Hammond says that after a productive first day, Tillerson has taken time to prepare for Day 2. China's foreign minister said that he had advised his North Korean counterpart not to "provoke the worldwide society's good will by conducting missile launching or nuclear tests".

Kang met with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday and both expressed satisfaction with the passing of the tougher U.N sanctions.

Thornton says the USA isn't now considering China's proposal to freeze US military exercises with South Korea in exchange for the North halting nuclear development.

In a phone call, South Korea's Moon and Trump said they would continue cooperating to rein in North Korea, particularly ahead of a regular joint military drill set for late August, South Korean presidential office spokesman Park Su-hyun said.

"Do not violate the U.N.'s decision or provoke global society's goodwill by conducting missile launching or nuclear tests", Wang said, in an unusually direct admonition.

He insisted Pyongyang "shall not flinch even an inch from the road to bolstering up the nuclear forces chosen by ourselves, unless the hostility policy and nuclear threat of the USA against (North Korea) are fundamentally eliminated".

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But he lauded the Security Council resolution as a message that there is "no daylight" in the global community's expectations that the defiant regime will take steps toward denuclearization. It also bars new joint ventures with North Korea.

ASEAN's problem in agreeing the wording highlight China's growing influence at a time of uncertainty over the new US administration's policy on the South China Sea and to what extent it will contest China's assertiveness.

Would Tillerson interact with his North Korean counterpart, even informally, if they crossed paths in Manila?

But Wang, the Chinese envoy, cast Ri's presence in Manila as a positive, enabling him to "hear the voices from other sides". While the North now boasts missiles it says can reach major USA cities, it is not believed to have mastered the ability to cap them with nuclear warheads, but that step may not be far off. Instead, the US was represented at the dinner by Thornton, whose official title is acting assistant secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs.

Wang also told Tillerson that "blindly" using sanctions is not a solution to the Korean peninsula issue and hoped the United States would seriously consider China's proposed "dual suspension" of military drills in the South and missile tests in the North.

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