Japan to extend unilateral sanctions against North Korea

Mandy Carr
April 9, 2017

"The stated objective of the last test was to validate the nuclear weapon design that would arm all of North Korea's missiles", Lewis said of North Korea's September 2016 nuclear test - its fifth and largest to date.

The North is strategically important to Beijing, whose relations with South Korea are growing strained over a U.S. anti-missile system being deployed on the Korean peninsula.

North Korea in 2016 held two nuclear weapons tests and fired more than 20 ballistic missiles.

US President Donald Trump (R) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) shake hands at Trump's Mar-a-Lago luxury resort in Florida, April 6, 2017. Including a friendly, South Korea last played in Pyongyang in 1990 when the men's national team suffered a 2-1 loss.

"Pyongyang's evolving ballistic missile and nuclear weapons program underscore the growing threat", Hyten said.

"It is a tough warning on North Korea, aimed at showing the United States is capable of launching military attacks against Pyongyang" if tensions continued to escalate on the peninsula, said Hua, a former Chinese ambassador to Iran.

North Korea, which is known to have a large stockpile of chemical and biological weapons, also has come under criticism for allegedly having its leader's half brother, Kim Jong Nam, assassinated with VX nerve agent at a Malaysian airport on February 13.

At the time of the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, the then North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il disappeared from public view for around six weeks - and was widely believed to have gone into hiding for fear of a U.S. attack.

In the weeks since Rex Tillerson announced that all options were now on the table in North Korea, including pre-emptive military strikes, a range of analysts have been examining how that would likely play out.

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The council has imposed six sets of sanctions on North Korea - two of which were adopted a year ago to significantly ramp up measures and deny Kim Jong-UN's regime hard currency revenue. Many blue-collar workers helped propel him to his unexpected election victory in November and Trump wants to deliver for them."We have been treated unfairly and have made bad trade deals with China for many, many years".

Although China's state media went strong on photos and coverage of the Xi-Trump summit, it gave little space to news of the strikes against Syria, with few editorials or commentaries.

Satellite images of the country indicate North Korea is preparing for a large-scale parade at Mirim Airport in Pyongyang, the report stated.

"It is imperative that we muster the will of the global community to deter North Korea's single-minded pursuit of weapons of mass destruction", he said.

"Apparently Trump still pins his hope on China", he said.

Following recent nuclear missile tests by North Korea, a retired four-star US General Jack Keane said that attacking the country's nuclear facilities "may be the only option left" with the United States.

"But apparently we are not there yet for a military action on North Korea similar to the one the U.S. launched in Syria", Zhang said.

Jia Qingguo, a professor of International Relations at Beijing University, said the North's nuclear arsenal and highly sensitive geopolitical position meant the fallout of any military action could be catastrophic.

"I don't think that [deploying nuclear weapons] is a good idea".

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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