Japan, South Korea push Putin over Pyongyang sanctions

Sunday, 10 Sep, 2017

Putin met South Korea's Moon Jae-in on the sidelines of an economic summit in the eastern Russian city of Vladivostok amid mounting global concern that their neighbor plans more weapons tests, including possibly a long-range missile launch before a weekend anniversary.

North Korea's adventurism continues unabated. "The potential consequences of military action are too horrific".

"Our military has never been stronger", Trump said in a news conference Thursday.

He added: "I can tell you that North Korea is behaving badly and it has to stop".

Several U.S. military vehicles, including trucks carrying payloads covered in black sheets that appeared to be launchers, had been seen heading toward the site.

"Invariable is the aggressive ambition of the U.S. to dominate Asia and the rest of the world by swallowing up the whole Korean Peninsula", said a statement on Friday on the North's official Korean Central News Agency.

China and Russian Federation have advocated a "freeze for freeze" plan, where the United States and South Korea stop major military exercises in exchange for North Korea halting its weapons programmes, but neither side is willing to budge.

A US-drafted resolution also called for banning textile exports and ending payments made to North Korean laborers sent overseas, further depriving the regime of revenue to pursue its military programs.

Putin said North Korea would not give up its nuclear program no matter how tough the sanctions. Maybe we'll have a chance to negotiate with somebody else, but I don't put my negotiations on the table, unlike past administrations.

Under pressure from the USA and the UN, China has begun to budge on tightening the grip of sanctions - but may demand direct negotiations in exchange for them.

It is said to propose a complete embargo on oil supplies, a ban on payments to North Korean guest workers, and sharing of the list of sanctioned vessels with all member countries.

"Now that the nuclear stuff is over with, we we can finally get down to finding common ground on some pressing issues", said the strikingly trim North Korean dictator, explaining to the UN General Assembly that when he gets really deep into a project like stockpiling weapons-grade plutonium and test-launching intercontinental ballistic missiles, he becomes "pretty much obsessed" and has to see it through to the end.

Dozens of people were injured in clashes between South Korean protesters and police Thursday as the US military added more launchers to the high-tech missile-defence system it installed in a southern town to better cope with North Korean threats.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres this week suggested: "The most unsafe crisis we face today, [is] the crisis related to the nuclear risk in relation to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea".

"Given the new developments on the Korean Peninsula, China agrees that the U.N. Security Council should respond further by taking necessary measures", the foreign minister Yi told reporters.

Meanwhile, North Korea has pledged to take "powerful counter measures" to respond to United States pressure or any new sanctions against it over its missile program, accusing Washington of wanting war. Russia's Foreign Ministry has urged all parties concerned to immediately resume a dialogue and negotiations as the sole possible means of achieving a comprehensive settlement of the Korean Peninsula's problems.

In June, Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies launched a coordinated diplomatic and economic campaign to isolate Qatar, which they accuse of backing extremist groups.

"It is impossible to intimidate them", Mr Putin said in Vladivostok.

Mr Trump had met Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia in May, during his first trip overseas as president, when they urged him to challenge Qatar.