Russian President Vladimir Putin again rejected USA calls for new sanctions against North Korea after its sixth and most powerful nuclear test, echoing China’s resistance to more punitive measures to pressure Pyongyang into abandoning its atomic and missile programs.
“Any new actions taken by the worldwide community against the DPRK should serve the objective of curbing the DPRK’s nuclear and missile programs, while at the same time be conducive to restarting dialogue and consultation”, he said, referring to North Korea by the initials of its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday that if the Security Council did not act, he had an executive order prepared to send to President Donald Trump that would “authorize me to stop doing trade and put sanctions on anybody that does trade with North Korea”.
Again, this does not prove that Vladimir Putin is some kind of genius about global affairs.
North Korea’s latest nuclear test was part theatre, part propaganda and maybe even part fake.
As worrying as North Korea’s nuclear advance is for America, the increasingly realistic threat of an atomic warhead striking a US city might be even more unnerving for South Korea and Japan.
Washington, Seoul and Tokyo have been pushing for stronger sanctions to punish Pyongyang over its nuclear activities, such as denying the country oil supplies.
Meanwhile, Admiral Scott Swift, the commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, claimed this week that America’s North Korean strategy of sanctions and diplomacy has worked so far.
Experts believe it is only a matter of time before North Korean leader Kim Jong-un acquires the capability to strike the US mainland with a nuclear weapon to deter what he calls USA hostility toward the regime. Kim was “begging for war” after testing what he claimed was a hydrogen bomb, she said after a meeting of the UN Security Council.
Speaking to The Associated Press on Tuesday, former South Korean Foreign Minister Yoon Young-kwan acknowledged that North Korea’s more powerful bombs and further-reaching missiles are sparking debate about his country’s long-term security strategy.
China and Russian Federation have advocated a “freeze for freeze” plan, where the United States and Seoul stop major military drills in exchange for North Korea halting its weapons programmes, but neither side is willing to budge. Selva said: “It is clear North Korea has the capability to build a missile that can range the distance to the United States, but North Korea has yet to demonstrate it has the requisite technology and capability to actually target and strike the United States with a nuclear weapon”.
The South Korean newswire service Yonhap reported Wednesday that Seoul’s Ministry of National Defense confirmed the installation of four more launchers while stressing “the urgency of mobilizing the assets, now stored at a USFK compound in the country, amid growing threats from the unpredictable neighbor”.
South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon admitted that the decision to deploy the THAAD was hard but necessary in order to “protect the lives and safety of the people in response to the sophistication of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes”, according to Yonhap agency. “Our policies are designed precisely to provoke the outcome we’re trying to avoid”. “China expresses serious concern over the relevant movements”, Geng said.
South Korea has also pushed for moves to cut off Pyongyang’s key supplies of fuel oil, but Russian Federation has dismissed such a call, while China is also reluctant to take measures that could lead to instability or a refugee exodus on its frontier.
Protests in Seongju occurred as Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, told Trump that the escalating crisis on the Korean peninsula has to be resolved by means of dialogue.
“South Korea may face the most complex strategic environment in Asia”, write Sung Chull Kim and Michael D. Cohen, editors of a new collection of scholarly essays titled “North Korea and Nuclear Weapons: Entering the New Era of Deterrence”.
Japan upgraded its assessment of the North Korean test to 160 kilotons from 120 kilotons after the size of the natural disaster it generated was revised to 6.1.
Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters that his ministry’s upward revision to 160 kilotons was based on a revised magnitude by the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO).
“It is far bigger than past (North Korean) nuclear tests”, said Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera. They have not officially ended because of the territorial dispute. “China holds the key, the oil to North Korea flows from China …”