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08 August 2017, 12:53 | Myrtle Vega
Philippines seeks Asean consensus on N. Korea response
Kim Jong Un's regime will be banned from selling coal, iron and iron ore, lead and lead ore, fish and seafood.
The sweeping measures were the first of that scope to be imposed on North Korea since US President Donald Trump took office and highlighted China's willingness to punish its Pyongyang ally.
Last month, North Korea fired two intercontinental ballistic missiles within target range of the continental USA and Europe. North Korea and China also discussed the new United Nations resolution on Pyongyang that is expected to deprive the regime of a third of its annual export income. This represents one-third of its total exports a year ago, estimated at $3 billion.
"This was a strong day in the UN, it was a strong day for the United States and it was a strong day for the global community".
Once ASEAN's most vocal critic of China's conduct, the Philippines, under President Rodrigo Duterte, has put aside disputes in exchange for Chinese funding pledges of $24 billion. But a commentary in the ruling party's Rodong Sinmun newspaper said Washington had disregarded the warning the North sent with its intercontinental ballistic missile tests and was pursuing "desperate efforts" in the form of stepped-up sanctions. "If there is an opportunity that naturally occurs, we should talk", Kang Kyung-Wha told reporters as she landed in Manila today, according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency. North Korea's irresponsible and careless acts have just proved to be quite costly to the regime.
The United States has called on other countries to stop accepting North Korean workers and is closely watching to see how China responds.
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Ministers reiterated in a joint statement their grave concerns over the escalation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula due to the North's two ICBM tests last month, saying the launches threaten world stability.
"The United States was able to get a pretty strong resolution here that will hit North Korea where it hurts economically", says Ankit Panda, who writes about North Korea for the online magazine, The Diplomat.
China and Russian Federation had resisted the United States push, arguing that dialogue with North Korea was the way to persuade it to halt its military programmes.
The Trump administration cautiously embraced China's apparent newfound cooperation, while putting it on notice that the USA would be watching closely to ensure it didn't ease up on North Korea if and when the world's attention is diverted elsewhere.
Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said earlier that the ASEAN ministers were divided over a USA proposal to remove North Korea from the ASEAN Regional Forum, a 27-member grouping that includes the North, along with its most bitter adversaries - South Korea, the United States and Japan.
The foreign ministers of ASEAN member-countries are in Manila for a series of meetings. China, North Korea's biggest customer by far, signed on. CORDIAL TALKS Wang's meeting with North Korea's Ri started off cordially, with Ri smiling as the two shook hands.
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