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techkenyot.com February 25, 2018


Trump, South Korean leader talk tougher North Korea sanctions

17 September 2017, 03:39 | Glen Norman

Trump, South Korean leader talk tougher North Korea sanctions

Trump, South Korean leader talk tougher North Korea sanctions

North Korea yesterday fired an intermediate range ballistic missile over Japan and into the Pacific Ocean.

Seoul and Washington will seek "stronger, and more practical" measures against North Korea, South Korea's presidential office said Sunday.

Asked outside if the US was running out of options when it comes to North Korea, Trump mouthed the word "no" to a reporter. Only now, the threat is heightened.

"We've been kicking the can down the road, and we're out of road", H.R. McMaster, Trump's national security adviser, told reporters on Friday. McMaster and Haley both insisted that the USA does have military options in the dispute, contrary to conventional wisdom that the city of Seoul's vulnerability to a North Korean counterattack rules out the possibility of a strike.

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McMaster called for "rigorous enforcement" by all United Nations member states of UN sanctions on North Korea, including the latest package that for the first time capped oil supply to the country, as a way of compelling it to alter its provocative behavior. "What's really important is rigorous enforcement of those sanctions, so that we can let the economic actions and diplomacy progress as best we can".

At the White House, McMaster called on nations to aggressively enforce recent U.N. sanctions to increase economic pressure.

McMaster said there is a military option against provocative acts by Pyongyang, but that "it's not what we would prefer to do".

If North Korea continues its provocative behavior, Haley suggested the US would have to take matters into its own hands.

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Those arguments were buttressed from within Trump's administration last month when Steven Bannon concurred that America was essentially bluffing about military options, shortly before he was pushed out as the president's strategic adviser. He also suggested deep cuts to USA funding for the United Nations.

Trump's first U.N. General Assembly follows overseas visits early in his presidency to the Mideast, where he sought to bolster relations with Saudi Arabia and reignite the Mideast peace process, and to Europe, where Western allies were alarmed by the president's inconsistent commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance and his withdrawal from the Paris climate accords.

"At that point, you know, there's not a whole lot the Security Council is going to be able to do", Ambassador Nikki Haley said, claiming global sanctions already have cut off 90 percent of North Korea's trade and 30 percent of its oil. She expected a Trump call for maximum pressure on North Korea. Expect her to get grilled on President Donald Trump's flip-flop-flip-flop-flip-flop on immigration - and expect Sarah to issue more than a few "I haven't had a chance to speak to the president about that (very relevant and newsworthy thing)". "Hopefully there will be coordination with allies on their policy lines before he adds anything to the speech about North Korea".

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