N Korea poses grave and growing threat: Trump and Moon

Saul Bowman
August 8, 2017

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the approval of new United Nations sanctions targeting North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs is a "very good outcome".

On Sunday South Korea's foreign minister joined her counterparts from the USA and Japan for a meeting in the Philippines in which Tillerson touted efforts to persuade nations to stop using North Korean labor.

China expressed confidence that new United Nations sanctions would help bring North Korea to the negotiating table to end its push for nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

U.S. President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae In spoke by phone Sunday about North Korea, the White House said.

He indicated plans for cooperation by Japan, South Korea and the United States to urge China, which has traditionally been close to North Korea, to play a constructive role, saying China's role is important to stop North Korea's provocations.

However, the top USA diplomat said it was not a matter of stopping the launches by "a specific number of days or weeks".

For the USA, it was a long-awaited sign of progress for Trump's strategy of trying to enlist Beijing's help to squeeze North Korea diplomatically and economically.

Thornton says the USA wants to ensure that with the new sanctions, there's "not this kind of episodic back and forth that we've seen".

The two ministers shook hands before speaking, Yonhap said.

"We're not going to give someone a specific number of days or weeks", he said during a briefing at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Manila.

Tillerson, Australia Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono "condemned in the strongest terms North Korea's unlawful pursuit of a nuclear weapons programme and unprecedented ballistic missile activity since previous year".

He said: "The best signal that North Korea could send that they're prepared to talk would be to stop these missile launches".

North Korea test-launched two ICBMs last month as part of its efforts to possess a long-range missile capable of striking anywhere in the mainland U.S. Both missiles were fired at highly lofted angles and analysts say the weapons could reach parts of the United States such as Alaska, Los Angeles or Chicago if fired at a normal, flattened trajectory.

HU: (Laughter) This sounds extreme, but it is actually rather par for the course, if not tame, for North Korean state media threats.

North Korea's Rodong Sinmun news website published a commentary dismissing the sanctions as "cooked up by the US", adding that "the USA mainland is on the crossroads of life and death".

China is North Korea's longstanding ally.

Noting that the two countries "can have some influence on how" North Korea is thinking, Tillerson added that the world expects of China and Russian Federation that "you will do everything you possibly can to help North Korea understand the reality of their future as well and bring them to the negotiating table".

"Just completed call with President Moon of South Korea", Trump said on Twitter.

The Chinese official also said he 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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