The United States on Friday called for more sanctions against North Korea and threatened to take action against companies that contribute to the nuclear program of the isolated Asian nation. According to a USA Today report, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the world community needs to increase North Korea’s financial isolation and tighten sanctions already in place.
— CNN (@CNN) April 26, 2017
Doing nothing about it would be “catastrophic,” Tillerson said at a special UN Security Council meeting on the North Korean crisis.
“This new pressure campaign will be swiftly implemented and painful to North Koran interest,” Tillerson explained.
“But the catastrophic effects of a North Korean nuclear strike outweigh any economic benefits. We must be willing to face the hard truths and mark hard choices right now to prevent disastrous outcomes in the future. Business as usual is not an option.”
While several council members warned of the potential of a warlike conflict, Tillerson called for more mediation efforts by China, North Korea’s main trading partner. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the solution was not Beijing’s responsibility and suggested resuscitating a process of dialogue with Pyongyang.
It is possible that North Korea already has the ability to launch a nuclear missile to nearby allied countries of the United States. It could develop the ability to reach the continental United States before the end of Donald Trump’s first presidential term.
Donald Trump's North Korea strategy aims to pressure Kim Jong-un by tightening economic sanctions – state department https://t.co/nZeV65sWUs
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) April 26, 2017
Tillerson had a twin objective on Friday: to call for more stringent enforcement of North Korea’s sanctions and to intensify pressure on North Koreans to drop their nuclear program. He mentioned the possibility of facing “North Korean aggression with military action if necessary,” a threat that the Trump administration has made with unusual enthusiasm in recent days.
Tensions on the Korean peninsula are on the rise. Aiming to prevent the North Koreans from launching a test missile again, the United States dispatched warships led by a carrier to the region, and North Korean forces carried out drills on its eastern coast.
Lack of enforcement of North Korea sanctions keeps them from working, diplomats say https://t.co/7jGRga6F9i
— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) April 25, 2017
The Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned that “the use of force will only cause a major disaster” and called on the United States and South Korea to end their military maneuvers.
“It is necessary to put aside the debate over who should take the first step and stop arguing who is right and who is wrong,” Wang told the council.
“Now is the time to seriously consider resuming talks.”
Tillerson gave the following response.
“We will not negotiate our way back to the negotiating table with North Korea, we will not reward their violations of past resolutions, we will not reward their bad behavior with talks.”
China is the main food and fuel supplier for North Korea. Although the country’s leaders seem to want the North Koreans to drop their nuclear program, they are apparently reluctant to destabilize a nation it supported in the 1950-53 Korean War.
During the council meeting, Tillerson also called on the other countries to reduce their contacts with Pyongyang and increase the isolation of the communist country.
“We must levy new sanctions on DPRK entities and individuals supporting its weapons and missile programs, and tighten those already in place,” said the Secretary of State.
He added that the United States “will not hesitate” in imposing sanctions against non-U.S. companies that are helping the North Korean regime and declared that China has a “unique” influence on Pyongyang. The UN meeting was meant to intensify pressure on the isolated country and convey in no uncertain terms that Washington expects other countries to help, CNN wrote.
[Featured Image by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images]