Trump Welcomes New Sanctions On North Korea

Kang Kyung-hwa shakes hands with Rex Tillerson

He dismissed the U.N. Security Council sanctions approved Saturday as illegal, appearing to rule out talks the Trump administration, in a diplomatic partnership with China and Russian Federation, is offering North Korea as a way out of its economic and diplomatic pariah status.

Wang Yi, who met his North Korean counterpart earlier, was speaking to reporters during a meeting of regional foreign ministers in Manila. Along with stopping the missile launches, North Korea would have to quit its nuclear weapons testing, he said recently.

The comments came two days after a unanimous 15 to 0 vote by the United Nations Security Council to sanction North Korea over two intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests last month.

They also promised to strengthen their communications to better respond to the North's nuclear threats. They include a complete ban on its exports of coal, a main source of hard currency suspected to be channeled for its weapons development programs.

"We will under no circumstances put the nukes and ballistic rockets on (the) negotiating table", Pyongyang's top diplomat told ASEAN delegates, among them US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Tokyo will "closely" cooperate with the ASEAN countries, China and South Korea "in order to increase the predictability of a regional or world economic crisis", Japan's new foreign minister, Taro Kono, said during the meeting in Manila.

The latest United Nations resolution bans North Korean exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood.

Apart from a developing missile and nuclear program, North Korea has a powerful army with 700,000 active troops and another 4.5 million in the reserves.

As Washington and Beijing turn up the heat on Kim Jong-un's regime, reflected by Saturday's new penalties, fewer nations may now be willing to risk the worldwide community's wrath by engaging with Kim.

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The ARF is an annual security gathering involving foreign ministers from almost 30 nations including China, Japan, South Korea, the United States and the ASEAN members.

The United States does not seek regime change, the collapse of the regime, an accelerated reunification of the peninsula or an excuse to send the USA military into North Korea, Tillerson said.

"We'll know it when we see it", Tillerson said.

Days before the unanimous Security Council vote, Tillerson had made a point of saying the US does not consider North Korea its enemy and does not seek to invade or unseat Kim. "And we hope, again, that this ultimately will result in North Korea coming to the conclusion to choose a different pathway, and when the conditions are right that we can sit and have a dialogue around the future of North Korea so that they feel secure and prosper economically".

Niki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, stated that the Security Council had lived up to its role by backing the sanctions. Those capabilities are already a threat to neighbors and USA allies South Korea and Japan.

In the face of Saturday's United Nations sanctions, North Korea remained defiant, saying the UN's move was unwarranted and unfair. Tillerson says he and the South Korean diplomat plan to discuss the sanctions during their meeting, along with next steps to pressure the North.

But he applauded the Security Council vote on Twitter.

China's foreign minister said on Sunday it would be not be easy to restart six-party talks about North Korea's nuclear program and missile tests, but dialogue was necessary and all sides should work towards that goal.

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