22 February 2018

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08/07/2017 KOREA

South Korean, US and Japanese foreign ministers meet in Manila to assess Pyongyang's position

Proposed mediation by South Korean President Moon Jae-in is backed by China and partly by the US. North Korean and South Korean foreign ministers have their first handshake since Moon took over. The UN resolution supports diplomacy in an attempt to ward off war. Moon and Trump talk by phone.

Manila (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The foreign ministers of South Korea, United States and Japan took part in a three-way meeting in Manila yesterday to co-ordinate steps to counter North Korea’s nuclear missile threats.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wa met US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono at a hotel on the sidelines of an ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) meeting.

The working lunch was held after the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted new sanctions against North Korea.  If the resolution is implemented Pyongyang will be deprived of one billion dollars in exports.

The new sanctions are aimed in particular at North Korean exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore, and seafood. Overall, North Korean export revenues are worth US$ three billion a year.

China backed the new sanctions, but Rex Tillerson stated the US wants to closely monitor Beijing, Pyongyang's main ally and trading partner, in order to ensure that sanctions are respected.

The UN resolution “will help the DPRK to make the right and smart decision," said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. The latter added that China is "waiting" for a quick restart of inter-Korean talks.

Today, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and US President Donald Trump spoke on the phone, stressing the need to exert strong pressure on North Korea to induce Kim Jong-un to "change his behaviour."

"President Moon said he hoped the new resolution will be a chance to induce a change in North Korea's behaviour," presidential spokesman Park Soo-hyun said.

For Moon, the goal of stronger sanctions is to bring the North to the negotiating table. The South Korean president also highlighted the need to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue in a peaceful manner through diplomatic means and close collaboration between South Korea and the United States since the tragedy of war on the Korean peninsula cannot be allowed.

During their 56-minute conversation, Trump expressed interest in Seoul's recent bid to promote inter-Korean dialogue, Park said.

Yesterday, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha met his North Korean counterpart in a rare face to face encounter. The meeting between the two took place on the sidelines of the Manila summit.

Ms Kang and Ri shook hands during the impromptu occasion. However, a South Korea official told the BBC that Mr Ri had dismissed his counterpart's offer of talks as "insincere".

Still, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who spoke to journalists today, said, "My feeling is that the North did not entirely reject the positive proposals raised by the South." Wang added that China supported Moon Jae-in’s initiatives.

See also

04/09/2017 10:20:00 KOREA-ASIA
Global reactions to the 'earthquake' of Pyongyang's nuclear test.

UN Security Council convokes  emergency meeting for this afternoon.  Yesterday’s hydrogen almost 10 times stronger than the previous one. North Korea celebrates "perfect success". Seoul and Tokyo demand maximum increase in sanctions to bring Kim Jong-un to the negotiating table. Military exercises with missiles in the south. Threats to military operations by the US. For some analysts, the aim is to provoke China's embarrassment.

11/10/2017 10:02:00 KOREA-USA
Allied bombers fly over the Korean peninsula. Jimmy Carter pushes for dialogue

Departing from Guam, they flew over South Korea and dropped bombs in the sea. For the South the operation is part of "regular training". For the US, it is a commitment to its allies to safeguard regional security and stability. Former US President Carter wants to meet Kim Jong-un.

07/09/2017 10:24:00 CHINA-US-KOREA
Xi Jinping and Trump in joint condemnation of Pyongyang nuclear test

The nuclear test is "a provocative and destabilizing action", "dangerous to the world" and is not in Pyongyang's best interests. North Ambassador to the UN: The test is "a gift package to the US". Four more  Thaad anti-missile launchers installed, angering Beijing and Moscow.

29/08/2017 10:12:00 NORTH KOREA-JAPAN
Pyongyang launches missile over Japan: 'unprecedented' threat

Shinzo Abe and Korean Kang Kyung-wha in talks with US allies. UN Security Council calls emergency session for this afternoon. Increased sanctions are expected to push the North into dialogue. But Pyongyang is able to circumnavigate them.

05/07/2017 13:51:00 KOREA-UN
Doubts surround power of Pyongyang missiles. Moon decides to follow the path of sanctions and dialogue

Kim Jong-un's rhetoric: The Missile, "a gift to American bastards," on Independence Day. "Now we can hit the whole world." But the missile may have disintegrated into the air, on re-entering the atmosphere. Doubts about the ability to miniaturize nuclear warheads to be included in the missile cone. At the UN Security Council, the US will seek further sanctions. Seoul reiterates the importance of the path of dialogue. Antonio Guterres: The international community must remain united.

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