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NUKEWARS
China voices 'grave concern' over N. Korea missile test, urges talks
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Nov 29, 2017


Trump promises 'major sanctions' against North Korea
Washington (AFP) Nov 29, 2017 - US President Donald Trump vowed to impose additional "major sanctions" against North Korea on Wednesday in response to its latest groundbreaking missile test.

"Just spoke to President XI JINPING of China concerning the provocative actions of North Korea," Trump tweeted.

"Additional major sanctions will be imposed on North Korea today. This situation will be handled!"

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson explained that the sanctions would be announced by the US Treasury and would target "additional financial institutions."

This suggests that secondary measures could target foreign banks that still deal with North Korea. A Chinese bank has already been hit in this way.

"We have a long list of additional potential sanctions," Tillerson told reporters.

Asked how long Washington could continue to mount peaceful pressure on Pyongyang without resorting to military action, Tillerson said: "Diplomatically, we keep working at it every day."

During his call with Xi, the White House said Trump urged Beijing to use "all available levers" to press North Korea.

On Tuesday, Pyongyang fired what is believed to be an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting Washington.

The US president has threatened North Korea with "fire and fury" if it continues to threaten the United States or its allies with work toward an ICBM capable of carrying a nuclear payload.

The latest test came after a more than two-month pause, which had prompted speculation that talks could end the nuclear standoff.

Since coming to office, Trump has ratcheted up the diplomatic and economic pressure on the regime of Kim Jong-Un, demanding he abandon nuclear and ballistic weapons.

As part of that effort, Trump has repeatedly pressed China to break trade ties with its dependent neighbor and has applauded countries for shuttering Pyongyang's diplomatic installations, which have long been used to gather illicit finance.

Earlier this month, Trump declared North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism -- a symbolic move, but one which amps up diplomatic pressure on the regime.

The UN Security Council is expected to hold an emergency meeting later Wednesday to discuss the response to Pyongyang's latest test.

China on Wednesday voiced "grave concern" over North Korea's test of a missile capable of striking anywhere in the United States and called for talks to peacefully resolve the nuclear crisis.

Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Beijing's proposal for North Korea to freeze weapons tests in return for the US to suspend military drills in the region was the best approach to ease tensions.

Washington has rejected that approach.

China hopes all sides will work on the "peaceful settlement" of the issue as a military option is not the solution to resolve the crisis, Geng told a regular news briefing.

"China expresses grave concern and opposition to the relevant launching activity," the spokesman said.

Beijing "strongly urges" North Korea to observe UN resolutions and "stop actions that heighten tensions on the Korean peninsula," Geng said.

"At the same time we also hope the relevant parties will act cautiously to work together for the peace and stability of this region."

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un said his country had achieved full nuclear statehood after what he said was the successful test of a new missile capable of striking anywhere in the United States.

The intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch snapped a two-month pause in testing by the North despite China's opposition to North Korea's weapons tests.

The United Nations Security Council, of which China is a veto-wielding permanent member, agreed to hold an emergency session later Wednesday to discuss the launch and US calls for more sanctions to be imposed on North Korea over its rogue behavior.

China is North Korea's largest trading partner, but it has backed a series of UN sanctions against Pyongyang over its nuclear and missile activities, straining ties between the Cold War-era allies.

US President Donald Trump has urged his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to use his economic leverage to exert more pressure on North Korea.

The Trump administration has also imposed sanctions this month on Chinese companies accused of doing business with North Korea, a move decried by Beijing as "wrong"

A Chinese special envoy visited North earlier this month but few details from his meetings emerged, with the Chinese government merely saying that issues of regional concern were discussed.

NKorea missile test 'provocative action': Kremlin
Moscow (AFP) Nov 29, 2017 - North Korea's latest missile test Wednesday is a "provocative action" that will lead to further tensions, the Kremlin said, appealing for calm on all sides.

"Undoubtedly, another missile launch is a provocative action that provokes a further increase of tensions," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

"We condemn this launch and hope that all relevant sides remain calm, which is necessary to keep the situation on the Korean peninsula from following the worst scenario," he said.

Pyongyang's launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Wednesday snapped a two-months pause in testing and was, according to North Korea's state media, more sophisticated than any previously tested.

It was the North's third successful ICBM test and poses a new challenge to US President Donald Trump who has vowed such a capability "won't happen."

Russia and China have pushed for a road map to end the tensions over North Korea's weapons development, which would involve the US freezing its military drills in South Korea while Pyongyang would halt its programme.

The Kremlin on Wednesday admitted there was no political solution on the horizon.

"So far there are no occasions for significant optimism," Peskov said when asked whether Russia was discussing the road map with North Korea.

NUKEWARS
What now for 'nuclear' North Korea?
Seoul (AFP) Nov 29, 2017
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un declared his country had achieved its long-cherished goal of full-fledged nuclear statehood after successfully testing a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile on Wednesday. The United States and its allies have always maintained they would never accept a nuclear North Korea, but have been forced to watch from the sidelines as Pyongyang pursued an acce ... read more

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