North Korea vows harsh retaliation against new United Nations sanctions

Kang Kyung-hwa South Korea's first woman foreign minister was the target of North Korea condemnations Monday. File

Kang Kyung-hwa South Korea's first woman foreign minister was the target of North Korea condemnations Monday. File

North Korea would only face greater diplomatic isolation if it continues to test weapons and issue defiant statements while ditching offers of talks, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said Tuesday.

The comments came as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is in the Philippines for a regional summit that is expected to focus heavily on concerns with North Korea.

Kono, in his turn, expressed hope that the countries would cooperate "in a broad range of areas" to build a new era of bilateral relations, the media added.

At the ASEAN meeting, Tillerson also met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines, their first encounter since new US sanctions on Russia were approved overwhelmingly by Congress and signed into law grudgingly by Trump.

The hermit state also claimed the newly approved sanctions by the United Nations (UN) Security Council were part of a US plot.

North Korea's consultative council for national reconciliation warned South Korea against supporting the adoption of economic sanctions at the United Nations Security Council.

The centerpiece of the United Nations sanctions is a ban on North Korean exports of coal, iron, lead and seafood products - and a ban on all countries importing those products, estimated to be worth over $1 billion a year in hard currency.

Wang said the two had an intensive conversation during which China urged North Korea to maintain calm. Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, called the sanctions the most stringent on any country "in a generation". Susan Thornton, acting assistant secretary for the U.S. State Department, had counted on a "general chorus of condemnation" directed at the regime during that gathering. Ri, who actively voiced Pyongyang's positions in meetings with reporters during the July 2016 ARF in Vientiane, remained tight-lipped under a barrage of questions from the press throughout this year's event. Aside from calling for more sanctions, Trump's approach has centered on enlisting China - the North's biggest trading partner - and others to lessen ties to Pyongyang. The sanctions could further choke North Korea's struggling economy by slashing its $3 billion annual export revenue by a third. Susan Thornton, the top US diplomat for Asia, said Beijing had historically cooperated with sanctions after flagrant North Korean violations but then slipped back over time. Wang also pressed for a restart of six-party talks involving North and South Korea, the U.S., China, Russia and Japan. Kang is thanking the USA for consulting with South Korea on the sanctions. China, she said, has typically cooperated with sanctions after flagrant violations only to loosen the reins over time. Beijing praised Tillerson for declaring the USA wasn't seeking regime change in North Korea.

Kazianis said China fears that too much pressure could collapse Kim's regime, sending millions of refugees into China and igniting a civil war where nuclear and chemical weapons could lead to catastrophe.

"Only dialog and negotiation is the correct way out to address the Korean Peninsula issue", the Chinese foreign minister said in his Sunday remarks, however. The culmination came on August 7 when he let fly in a meeting with newly appointed Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono, saying he was "disappointed" with Kono's expression of concern over China's attempts to build a base in the South China Sea.

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