The Korea Herald


Time for talk is over with NK: US

By Jung Min-kyung

Published : July 31, 2017 - 17:08

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The US has hinted that it will no longer make efforts to ease tensions with North Korea through dialogue, following North Korea’s test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile late Friday.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Sunday that “the time for talk is over,” stressing that “the danger the North Korean regime poses to international peace is now clear to all.”
US Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks in the Security Council Chamber at the UN headquarters at an UN Security Council emergency meeting on North Korea in New York City on July 5, 2017. (AP-Yonhap) US Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks in the Security Council Chamber at the UN headquarters at an UN Security Council emergency meeting on North Korea in New York City on July 5, 2017. (AP-Yonhap)

Haley encouraged North Korea’s Asian neighbors, including South Korea, China and Japan, to step up their efforts, underlining the issue was “not only a US problem.”

“China must decide whether it is finally willing to take this vital step,” Haley added.

Her statement mirrored US President Donald Trump’s tweets Saturday stressing his disappointment in China’s lack of effort in bringing North Korea to heel, despite having the “capability to solve the problem easily.”

Accordingly, Trump talked with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe via phone Monday, reaffirming their shared stance on Pyongyang’s ongoing provocations.

“We have made consistent efforts to resolve the North Korean problem in a peaceful manner, but North Korea has ignored that entirely and escalated the situation in a one-sided way,” Abe told the press in Tokyo after speaking with Trump.

“The international community, starting with China and Russia, must take this obvious fact seriously and increase pressure.”

US Vice President Mike Pence also called for the support of allies and other nations “to further isolate North Korea economically and diplomatically” during a press briefing in Estonia on Sunday.

Regarding China, Pence suggested that Beijing should use its unique relationship with Pyongyang and its influence over the regime’s decision-making process to bring an end to its relentless provocations.

The US has been also keeping an eye on Russia, a North Korean neighbor it says is also maintaining a “unique relationship” with North Korea.

Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun on Monday raised the possibilities of stricter US economic sanctions against Russian companies involved in trade with North Korea, especially those operating businesses in Southeast Asia, citing several US sources.

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told ABC News on Sunday that Moscow is willing to comply with further Security Council resolutions, but the sanctions should not completely crush North Korea’s economy.

Despite the international community’s souring sentiment toward the hermit state, North Korea held a banquet to celebrate its second successful ICBM launch.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attended the banquet Sunday with his rarely seen wife Ri Sol-ju and several high-ranking officials, according to the (North) Korean Central News Agency. The officials were reportedly key contributors to the recent launch, including Ri Man-gon, vice chairman of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, and Kim Rak-gyon, commander of the North Korean Strategic Force.

Kim’s congratulatory speech at the event indicated that he had no intentions of bowing to sanctions imposed on Pyongyang, instead vowing to “ceaselessly produce new types of ballistic rockets with high mobility and striking power.”

On Sunday, the US sent two B-1B long-range strategic bombers from Guam to South Korea for a joint drill with the South Korean Air Force. The exercise is believed to be a show of force against North Korea’s unwillingness to halt its missile tests.

Meanwhile, President Moon Jae-in and Trump are expected to have a telephone conversation on North Korean provocations, a Cheong Wa Dae official said Monday.

The Moon administration is in a tricky situation, working with its dual-track approach of peace and sanctions toward Pyongyang.

The dialogue is conversation to take place shortly after Moon returns from his vacation this weekend. Moon is also expected to talk with Abe via phone as Japan also filed a request to schedule similar talks, according to the Cheong Wa Dae official.

By Jung Min-kyung (