Thursday, 21 September, 2017

USA calls for stronger sanctions against North Korea

Francis Olson | 14 May, 2017, 22:17

It is China's first official response after North Korea fired what may be a new type of ballistic missile Sunday morning that fell into the Sea of Japan after flying some 800 kilometers.

It was his second appearance before reporters Sunday after North Korea fired the missile that Japanese officials say may have been a new type given its flight time and unusually high altitude.

But multiple sets of United Nations and USA sanctions against North Korea have done little to deter its pursuit of its nuclear and missile ambitions. "The president said we are leaving open the possibility of dialogue with North Korea, but we should sternly deal with a provocation to prevent North Korea from miscalculating".

Sunday's missile test "points to a new threshold of capability potentially crossed", said Euan Graham, an expert on North Korea at Australia's Lowy Institute.

Mr Trump has threatened military action but recently appeared to have softened his stance, saying he would be "honoured" to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un under the right conditions. But on Sunday, the Trump administration seemed to throw cold water on the idea of talks with North Korea. "This is totally unacceptable and we strongly protest it".

The US Pacific Command confirmed a missile had been launched from a site in Kusong, north-west of the capital Pyongyang, but added that "the flight is not consistent with an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)".

"Despite strong warning from the global community, North Korea launched a ballistic missile again", Abe said.

North Korea launched two missiles in October previous year from an air base in Kusong on North Korea's west coast, on the other side of the country from the usual intermediate-range Musudan test site near Wonsan, on the east coast.

North Korea's missile launch Sunday came at a highly embarrassing time for China, its chief ally and economic partner.

Trump calls for tougher sanctions after North Korea missile
One may have been a KN-14, another missile capable of reaching the USA mainland, although it has a slightly shorter range. Kishida says the global community should prioritize efforts to implement the existing U.N.

But the US military said that the flight pattern was "not consistent" with an ICBM and did not threaten the United States.

The missile impacted "so close to Russian soil - in fact, closer to Russia than to Japan - the President can not imagine that Russia is pleased", the White House said.

North Korea's test-firing of a ballistic missile constitutes a "threat to worldwide peace and security" as Pyongyang ratchets up tensions in the region, an European Union spokesperson said today. While Moon called the launch a "reckless provocation", the USA said North Korea has been "a flagrant menace for far too long".

South Korean and USA military officials said the February launch was a significant development as it successfully tested a solid-fuel engine from a mobile launcher. The launch comes amid the volatile situation in the Korean Peninsula.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said North Korea's missile launches were a "grave threat to our country and a clear violation of United Nations resolutions". She says more analysis was needed.

Xi said he is seeking to politically resolve the nuclear issue with Russian Federation, according to China's state-run Xinhua News Agency.

A statement from US President Donald Trump's WHite House called for the already existing sanctions to be tightened.

In addition to the war games, the USS Carl Vinson, a USA aircraft supercarrier, is engaging with South Korean navy ships in waters off the Korean Peninsula, according to Seoul's Defense Ministry.

Russian president Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping discussed the Korean situation on the sidelines of the meeting and "both parties expressed their concern over the escalation of tensions", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

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