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France wants UN to slap new sanctions on N. Korea in coming days
by Staff Writers
United Nations, United States (AFP) Aug 3, 2017

Air France extends no-fly zone around North Korea
Paris (AFP) Aug 3, 2017 - Air France said Thursday it was extending its non-flyover zone around North Korea after a missile from the reclusive state fell into the sea 100 kilometres (60 miles) from one its plane's trajectories.

"Having learned of this missile test we have decided to establish a wider non-flyover zone to move further away from North Korean territory," Air France said in a statement, describing the move as a "precautionary measure".

The airline added: "Information at Air France's disposal at this stage shows the missile fell into the sea more than 100 kilometres from the trajectory" of flight AF293.

The plane with 323 people aboard was flying on July 28 from Tokyo's Haneda airport to Paris' Charles de Gaulle hub and the missile fell into the sea just minutes after the flight passed the area.

"Even if this distance were proven, it would not bring into question the safety of the flight," Air France stated.

A spokesman said the flight concerned passed off without incident.

However, the company, which noted it does not fly over North Korea itself, said it would expand its non-flyover zone as a precaution.

"In cooperation with the authorities, Air France constantly analyses potentially dangerous flyover zones and adapts its flight plans accordingly," the carrier stressed.

North Korea has alarmed the international community with its weapons development programme, and in July conducted two tests of an intercontinental ballistic (ICBM) missile, showing Pyongyang's ICBM capability for the first time.

After last week's second rocket test experts suggested that New York could be in its range.

Air France's precaution comes three years after Malaysia Airlines' MH17 flight was downed by a missile over Ukraine in July 2014, killing 298 people.

Dutch-led investigators concluded that plane was downed by a Russian-made BUK missile transported from Russia into areas held by pro-Moscow rebels.

France urged the United Nations Security Council on Thursday to adopt new sanctions on North Korea in the coming days as weeks of negotiations on the measures were making headway.

The United States began talks a month ago with China on a new UN draft resolution that would slap sanctions on North Korea after it launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile on July 4.

France "would like to see a resolution with robust and additional sanctions adopted in the very coming days," Ambassador Francois Delattre told reporters.

"The draft resolution is being negotiated as we speak and we are making progress."

British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft also said there was progress in the negotiations on the new measures aimed at pressuring North Korea to end its military programs.

The United States, Britain and France argue that North Korea's drive to develop an ICBM missile capability poses a global threat that must be swiftly addressed.

"The Security Council must respond rapidly and substantively with a new sanctions regime and I hope that that will come to pass in the near future," Rycroft said.

The United States has suggested that cutting North Korea's oil supplies, banning North Korean guest workers or imposing new air and maritime restrictions could be among the new UN sanctions.

Russia, however, has warned that any new measure must not have an impact on North Korea's humanitarian crisis.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is expected to meet Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the weekend, on the sidelines of a ministerial meeting of the Southeast Asian ASEAN group in Manila.

While a draft resolution has yet to be formally presented to the Security Council, an agreement between the five permanent council members -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- would pave the way to a quick vote on the sanctions.

The council has imposed six sets of UN sanctions on North Korea since it first tested a nuclear devise in 2006, but two resolutions adopted last year significantly toughened the sanctions regime.

Tillerson: US not seeking to topple North Korea regime
Washington (AFP) Aug 1, 2017
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson promised Tuesday that the United States is not trying to topple Kim Jong-Un's North Korean regime, but warned it must halt its nuclear missile program. Briefing reporters on diplomatic efforts to pressure Pyongyang, Tillerson said Washington would be willing to talk to the North if its leaders accept that they must disarm. "We don't think having a dialogu ... read more

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