Tillerson Says World Breathes Easier As North Korea Action Taken in Peace

AFP

© POOL/AFP | US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi supported a tough stance on Pyongyang’s arsenal

MANILA (AFP) – US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Monday that a UN Security Council vote to impose sanctions on North Korea showed that world powers were united behind a push for a denuclearised Korean peninsula.Speaking at a security forum in Manila, Washington’s top diplomat said Kim Jong-Un’s regime must halt ballistic missile tests if it wanted to talk to the United States about resolving the standoff.

“It’s quite clear in terms of there being no daylight between the international community as to the expectation that North Korea will take steps to achieve all of my objectives, which is a denuclearised Korean peninsula,” he said.

On Sunday, Tillerson held separate talks in Manila with foreign ministers Wang Yi of China and Sergei Lavrov of Russia, both of whom he said were in support of a tough stance on Pyongyang’s arsenal.

While Wang called for a resumption of dialogue with North Korea, Tillerson insisted Kim must first stop the missile tests.

“The best signal that North Korea could send that they’re prepared to talk would be to stop these missile launches,” he said, holding out the prospect of US envoys sitting down with Pyongyang’s isolated regime.

But he would not set a timeframe on when this might be possible or how long North Korea might have to refrain from testing more long-rang missiles.

“We’ll know it when we see it,” he told reporters.

“I’m not going to give someone a specific number of days or weeks. This is really about the spirit of these talks.

“And they can demonstrate that they are ready to sit in the spirit of finding their way forward in these talks by no longer conducting these missile tests.”

The UN Security Council on Saturday approved a US-drafted sanctions package against North Korea that could cost it $1 billion a year in an effort to halt its nuclear weapons and missile programmes.

This was in response to the North conducting two intercontinental ballistic missile tests last month that Kim boasted showed he could strike any part of the United States.

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Tillerson Hails U.N. Sanctions, as Chinese Minister Rebukes North Korea at Asean Meeting

MANILA — A day after the United Nations Security Council passed its toughest sanctions against North Korea, Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson met with his South Korean and Chinese counterparts here in hopes of ratcheting up pressure on Pyongyang.

In a midday conclave on Sunday with Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha of South Korea, Mr. Tillerson hailed in his typically understated fashion the United Nations vote, which could cost North Korea nearly $1 billion a year, or about one-third of its foreign earnings.

“It was a good outcome,” Mr. Tillerson said with a smile.

Ms. Kang, sitting across the table from him, could not resist chiming in: “It was a very, very good outcome.”

Despite Mr. Tillerson’s obvious glee, though, the man of the moment here at the annual ministerial meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or Asean, was the Chinese foreign minister, Wang Yi, a dashing diplomat who unlike Mr. Tillerson held a news conference and direct talks with Foreign Minister Ri Su-yong of North Korea.

Mr. Wang said the two had “an intensive conversation,” and in unusually strong terms, he later urged North Korea to show restraint.

“Do not violate the U.N.’s decision or provoke the international society’s good will by conducting missile launching or nuclear tests,” Mr. Wang said.

He also said, “Of course, we would like to urge other parties like the United States and South Korea to stop increasing tensions.”

A year ago, the Chinese were on their heels in this region. An international tribunal in The Hague last July delivered a sweeping rebuke of China’s behavior in the South China Sea, including its construction of artificial islands, finding that its expansive claim to sovereignty over the waters had no legal basis.

The case, brought against China by the Philippines, seemed like a turning point in China’s disputes with a host of regional players, including Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam.

A few months before that ruling, 12 nations in the Pacific region concluded more than seven years of negotiations by signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, a trade agreement that bound much of Southeast Asia together with the United States and Japan in an economic partnership intended to fight China’s growing economic hegemony in the region.

While China had its own regional trade accord, the United States-led pact had become the preferred agreement, with several nations that had missed out on the initial round of negotiations expressing interest in joining in a second round.

How things have changed.

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One Response to “Tillerson Says World Breathes Easier As North Korea Action Taken in Peace”

  1. daveyone1 Says:

    Reblogged this on World Peace Forum.

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