EU Weighs New North Korea Sanctions After Missile Test

Jay Anderson
July 17, 2017

While China has been angered by North Korea's repeated nuclear and missile tests, it also blames the United States and South Korea for worsening tension with their military exercises and not doing enough to get talks back on track, as Beijing has proposed. With Chinese military ships spotted passing between the Japanese islands of Okinawa and Miyako, such instances of vessels sailing toward the Pacific Ocean will become more frequent, Tokyo predicted.

In May, during the same week that Pyongyang launched a missile vaguely in the direction of Vladivostok, North Korea also launched a new ferry service to the port city.

North Korea gets most of its fuel from China, with some coming from Russian Federation.

She says the USA should offer North Korea a very clear deal about rolling back its nuclear weapons program.

North Korea's ICBM is likely a deterrent, nothing more, as actually firing one off would be suicidal. U.S. President Donald Trump meanwhile has upped pressure on Beijing and Pyongyang, threatening some "pretty severe things" in response to the Kim regime's missile tests.

CNPC declined to comment on Monday when asked by Reuters if fuel sales to North Korea had resumed.

Speaking after the meeting, however, U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said there were "some tough words" in Monday's discussions on North Korea, with London among those making clear this wasn't the time for diplomatic outreach.

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Both South Korea and its allies, the United States, claim this isn't true. The move came as part of the worldwide pressure on Pyongyang to curb its nuclear and missile programs. The surplus with the United States was China's largest since October 2015.

Russia's government has other reasons for staking out a different position from Washington on the North Korean question.

Last Tuesday, the USA military successfully intercepted a simulated intermediate-range ballistic missile using the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system similar to one being deployed in South Korea. North Korea would fire on all cylinders, utilizing 100% of their capabilities, regardless of how limited or measured the United States' actions may be.

New cooperation between Beijing and Moscow could further complicate USA efforts to curtail Pyongyang.

It is for this reason that North Korea sought nuclear weapons and maintained the level of belligerence and saber rattling it has. US officials have said a military solution isn't off the table. Even sanctions, in Russia's view, are unlikely to change the logic behind Pyongyang's pursuit of nuclear weapons, though they may play some role in freezing testing or further development. Presidents Clinton, G.W. Bush, and Obama all relied upon China to pressure Pyongyang - with no evidence to date of any influence.

"I think Kim Jong-un could wage nuclear war if his power is threatened, and that is why he needs to be removed as soon as possible", Song Byeok, a former propaganda official, told The Independent in May, confirming Thae's assessment.

Other reports by BadHub

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