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North Korea says no negotiations over its nukes

13 August 2017

Tillerson met his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, on the sidelines of the ASEAN event in Manila on Sunday, where he also asked about Moscow's retaliation to new US sanctions against Russia.

Kono called for collaboration to increase pressure on Pyongyang to curb its nuclear and missile ambitions and resolve the issue of North Korea's past abductions of Japanese nationals, the official said.

He also expects to have discussions on additional topics concerning "threats to all of us and our common response to that" as well as "opportunities that exist among all of those to strengthen relationships".

U.S. State Secretary Rex Tillerson gestures before the 10th Lower Mekong Initiative Ministerial Meeting, part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum in Manila, Philippines, n Sunday Aug. 6, 2017.

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Malaysian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dato' Sri Anifah HJ Aman, during the same meeting, said the United States is a vital partner of the ASEAN "with solid relations encompassing wide areas of cooperation".

The administration says the resolution could cost the regime $1 billion a year, although sanctions experts say that depends largely on how well they are implemented - especially by China, whose track record on enforcing punitive measures on North Korea is poor.

The group also defended the Kim Jong Un regime's development of nuclear weapons, calling the policy a "fair and square" decision. He says the only way that would change is if another country joined in an American action against North Korea.

But Tillerson says it's not as simple as North Korea stopping launches for a few days or weeks.

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US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson laid out a narrow path for North Korea to return to dialogue and ultimately see the latest round of sanctions lifted, stressing that Pyongyang must first stop testing its missile for "extended period" before any future negotiations will be considered. He says he won't give a concrete timeframe but that the USA will "know it when we see it". A statement from the White House says Trump and Moon "affirmed that North Korea poses a grave and growing direct threat to the United States, South Korea, and Japan, as well as to most countries around the world".

"The best signal that North Korea could send that they're prepared to talk would be to stop these missile launches", Tillerson said. North Korea must halt its missile tests, but the top U.S. diplomat left out any stipulation on nuclear testing. Last week, the head of North Korea's parliament arrived in Tehran for a trip that was widely seen as a front for expanded military cooperation.

Niki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, stated that the Security Council had lived up to its role by backing the sanctions.

One of the secondary sanctions efforts deals with jurisdictions that are non-compliant with United Nations resolutions, Stephan Haggard, visiting fellow at the Peterson Institute of International Economics, said in a Monday note. He said the program was a rational "strategic option" in case of attack by the USA, the Washington Post reported.

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Defense experts say the ICBM could reach as far as the USA states of Alaska and Hawaii, but questions remain over whether North Korea can field an ICBM capable of carrying a nuclear warhead on its cone that could survive reentry into earth's atmosphere.

North Korea says no negotiations over its nukes