The US Susan Thornton said has been working with China on North Korea
06 August, 2017, 22:00
The United Nations Security Council has voted to adopted a new round of sanctions against the North Korean government over the reclusive regime's tests of two intercontinental ballistic missiles and its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
"The United States was able to get a pretty strong resolution here that will hit North Korea where it hurts economically", says Ankit Panda, who writes about North Korea for the online magazine, The Diplomat.
"North Korea should comply with Security Council resolutions and take deliberate actions to demonstrate it is prepared to change course accordingly". China is central to this drive and is the focus of other administration efforts - and some frustration, mostly displayed in tweets by President Donald Trump.
"Acting Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Susan Thornton said that as many as 90 per cent of North Korea's economy is still flowing through China, so Beijing has more leverage on North Korea than any other country".
The measure's unanimous approval was a diplomatic victory for the Trump administration and partly reflected growing impatience with North Korea by China, which historically has called relations between them as "close as lips and teeth".
"The fact the council adopted the resolution unanimously demonstrated that global community is united", said Liu Jieyi.
China's foreign minister said sanctions against North Korea aren't his country's end goal.
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Resolution 2371 (2017), adopted unanimously by the Security Council on Saturday, strengthens United Nations sanctions on the Pyongyang in response to its two intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests conducted on July 3 and July 28, respectively.
The US-drafted resolution bans North Korean exports of coal, iron, lead and seafood and any new work permits for North Korean migrant workers.
China fears a spread of USA influence in the region, though China and the US agree on wanting to stop North Korea's nuclear development.
Even as Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson signaled recently that the US did not want to pick a fight with Kim and was not interested in regime change, the USA military tested an intercontinental ballistic missile and conducted military drills with South Korea.
The Security Council vote was held against the backdrop of mixed signals by the Trump administration on how to deal with North Korea, which has remained in a suspended state of war with the US since the Korean War armistice in 1953.
"It hasn't worked. So we're doing more of the same", he says. The U.S. could do more on its own to develop a relationship with North Korea, she said.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in Manila for talks with regional counterparts, called it "a good outcome".
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China is sensitive about ASEAN making even veiled references to the expansion of its military capabilities on the islands. Thornton reiterated Sunday that the US rejects such a "freeze-for-freeze", calling it a false moral equivalency.
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