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NUKEWARS
At UN, world leaders confront North Korea crisis
By Carole LANDRY
United Nations, United States Sept 21, 2017


Japan PM says time for North Korea dialogue is over
United Nations, United States (AFP) Sept 20, 2017 - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday declared the time for dialogue with North Korea is over and rallied behind a US warning that "all options" are on the table

Addressing the UN General Assembly, Abe said "there is not much time left" to take action on North Korea which in recent weeks has detonated another nuclear bomb and fired a series of missiles over or near Japan.

A day after US President Donald Trump threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea if it attacks, Abe said: "We consistently support the stance of the United States: that 'all options are on the table.'"

Abe said that the world has already tried exhaustively to reach a negotiated settlement with North Korea, starting with the US-backed 1994 Agreed Framework which collapsed a decade later.

"Again and again, attempts to resolve issues through dialogue have all come to naught. In what hope of success are we now repeating the very same failure a third time?" he said.

"What is needed to do that is not dialogue, but pressure," he said.

He voiced alarm at North Korea's military progress, which he said had brought the regime to the threshold of mastering hydrogen bombs and intercontinental ballistic missiles, which would be able to strike the United States.

Abe demanded the strict implementation of UN sanctions on Kim Jong-Un's regime, the latest round of which includes a ban on the country's textile exports and a freeze on work permits to North Korean guest workers.

But years of sanctions have had limited effects on North Korea, which follows a "juche" ideology of self-reliance and counts on neighboring China as its economic lifeline.

China -- which has grown frustrated by Kim's actions but also fears the consequences of his regime's collapse -- has repeatedly urged dialogue, with Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Tuesday urging an end to the "current deepening vicious cycle."

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, responding to Trump's bellicose speech, called for dialogue in tandem with implementation of sanctions.

"There is no military solution because that would be a disaster, not only for North Korea but for South Korea, the whole peninsula, Japan," Lofven told reporters.

But Abe warned that global credibility was on the line, saying that only North Korea has been "allowed such self-indulgence" in its defiance of the Security Council.

"North Korea is attempting to dismiss with a smirk the efforts towards disarmament we have assiduously undertaken over the years," Abe said.

Abe, Japan's longest-serving post-World War II prime minister, rose to political prominence on his calls for a tough line on North Korea over its past abductions of Japanese civilians.

He has also pressed for a shedding of defense taboos in Japan, whose US-imposed constitution forbids the country from ever again waging war.

North Korea's nuclear threat takes center stage at the United Nations on Thursday as US President Donald Trump holds talks with leaders of Japan and South Korea and the Security Council meets to push for sanctions to be enforced against Pyongyang. After threatening to "totally destroy North Korea" in his first address to the General Assembly, Trump will sit down with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean leader Moon Jae-In to discuss the way forward. Also on Thursday, Moon will take the UN podium to appeal for international support in the standoff with the North, which has carried out six nuclear tests and fired two intercontinental ballistic missiles. The threat from North Korea's nuclear and missile tests has dominated this year's gathering of world leaders, but divisions remain over how to confront Pyongyang. China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, who will also deliver their speeches on Thursday, have called for diplomatic talks and warned that military action would be catastrophic. In his UN address on Wednesday, Japan's Abe backed the tough US stance, declaring that the time for dialogue with North Korea was over and that pressure from sanctions must be brought to bear. At the Security Council, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will push for fully implementing a new raft of sanctions targeting North Korea's exports and its energy supplies. The council last week adopted new punitive measures, slapping an export ban on textiles, ending work permits for North Korean guest workers and capping oil shipments. That was a significant ratcheting-up of sanctions aimed at cutting off revenue used by Pyongyang to develop its military programs, but their impact hinges mostly on China, North Korea's ally and main trading partner. The United States called for the special council meeting on non-proliferation that will be attended by foreign ministers from the 15 countries including China, Russia and Japan. - Military threats as a tactic - Washington and its allies hope the tough economic sanctions will build pressure on Pyongyang to come to the table and negotiate an end to its military programs. The US administration has refused to offer North Korea incentives to open negotiations and has ramped up threats of military action to force leader Kim Jong-Un -- whom Trump has dubbed "Rocket Man" -- to change course. Commenting on Trump's fiery speech, French President Emmanuel Macron surmised that the "military threats can serve a purpose from a tactical point of view" to jolt Pyongyang into changing course. "When you consider him and his father, it was only when such threats were made that negotiations did happen," Macron told reporters. In his UN address, Abe said the world had already tried to reach a negotiated settlement with North Korea, starting with the US-backed 1994 Agreed Framework that collapsed a decade later. "Again and again, attempts to resolve issues through dialogue have all come to naught. In what hope of success are we now repeating the very same failure a third time?" he said. "What is needed," said Abe, "is not dialogue, but pressure." Opening this year's gathering, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that "fiery talk can lead to fatal misunderstandings" that could ignite a nuclear war, and called for a political solution. Guterres is due to meet on Saturday with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-Ho on the sidelines of the assembly to send out feelers on possible diplomatic talks. Ri, who takes the podium on Friday, dismissed Trump's threats to destroy his country as "a dog's bark" and said they would have zero impact. Merkel says in 'clear disagreement' with Trump over N. Korea
Berlin (AFP) Sept 20, 2017 - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday she was in "clear disagreement' with US President Donald Trump over his threat to destroy North Korea.

"I am against such threats," Merkel said in an interview with the radio station Deutsche Welle.

"We believe that any kind of military solution is completely deficient and we support diplomatic efforts," she said.

"With regards to North Korea, I consider any other option to be without foundation. And this is why there is a clear disagreement on this point with the American president," Merkel said.

Merkel gave notice that Germany would not watch passively as the North Korean crisis unfolded.

The issue "also concerns us," she said. "And this is why I am ready -- and the foreign minister (Social Democrat Sigmar Gabriel) is ready -- to assume my responsibilities."

Trump, in his maiden speech at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, issued a fiery warning after North Korea tested its sixth and largest nuclear bomb and defied new sanctions by launching its longest-ever missile flight over Japan.

Trump said North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un was "on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime".

If the US is "forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea," he said.

Merkel has called for a diplomatic solution to curb North Korea's armament programme, with the 2015 Iran deal as a possible template. Trump, at the UN, also spoke witheringly of the Iran accord, calling it an "embarrassment" for the United States.

NUKEWARS
Trump's North Korea talk 'counterproductive': analysts
Seoul (AFP) Sept 20, 2017
With his threats to "totally destroy" North Korea, Donald Trump is playing into Pyongyang's hands by offering justification for a nuclear weapons programme it insists is for self-defence, analysts say. The US leader used his maiden speech at the UN General Assembly to deliver a blistering warning to Pyongyang, after it tested its sixth and largest nuclear bomb and responded to new sanctions ... read more

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