Wednesday, 18 October, 2017

North Korea threatens to complete nuclear force amid United States sanctions

Kim Jong Un launches North Korea's missile test REUTERSNorth Korea has continued to step up its nuclear plans
Saul Franklin | 23 September, 2017, 01:35

They were the first flights since the North conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on September 3 and staged an intermediate-range missile test over Japan last Friday, sending regional tensions soaring. The move comes after Beijing faced increased scrutiny for not doing enough to control the nearby unpredictable North Korea.

The new sanctions come two days after Trump threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea if it continues to threaten the United States and its allies.

Meanwhile, on Sunday President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed to intensify economic and diplomatic pressure against North Korea over its repeated nuclear and missile tests.

"We view the speech as portraying a firm and specific stance on the key issues regarding keeping peace and safety that the global community and the United Nations are faced with", the office of South Korean President Moon Jae-in said in a statement on Wednesday.

Trump has not ruled out a military option for dealing with Pyongyang.

The North also fired a ballistic missile over Japan and into the Pacific on Friday, responding to fresh new United Nations sanctions with what appeared to be its longest-ever missile flight.

The girl, Megumi Yokota, was one of at least 17 people that Japan says North Korea kidnapped.

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Last month, the Trump administration blacklisted 16 Chinese, Russian and Singaporean companies and people for trading with banned North Korean entities, including in coal, oil and metals.

The aircraft carried out a simulated attack on the Pilsung training range in South Korea, a few dozen miles from the demilitarized zone separating the North and South, while using live bombs. However, the U.S. rejected the plan and continues to conduct drills with South Korea.

The bombing run comes at a time of heightened tension between the USA and North Korea. Prodded by Washington, the United Nations has responded with the toughest economic sanctions on North Korea yet.

"Developments in the peninsula nuclear issue up to this point prove that, no matter whether it is military threats in words or in action, they can not promote and advance a resolution", the foreign ministry spokesman, Lu Kang, said.

Nauert said that 90 percent of North Korea's trade goes through China, but with the new sanctions, "China has repeatedly said that they do not believe in a nuclearized Korean Peninsula", and with this in mind, China is "working with us, we are working with them, to try to get to that goal".

North Korea says it needs nuclear weapons to protect itself from USA forces and is determined to build a system capable of delivering a nuclear warhead capable of hitting the mainland United States.

North Korea has conducted 15 missile tests in 2017 and more than 60 since Kim Jong Un took power in 2011.

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