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US warns to ‘destroy’ N.Korea regime
December 01, 2017
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WASHINGTON: The United States on Wednesday warned that North Korea’s leadership will be “utterly destroyed” if war breaks out as it called on countries to cut all diplomatic and trade ties with North Korea − including Chinese oil shipments to Pyongyang.

Washington urged tough action at an emergency meeting of the Security Council called to respond to North Korea’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

“The dictator of North Korea made a choice yesterday that brings the world closer to war, not farther from it,” US Ambassador Nikki Haley told the council.

“If war comes, make no mistake: The North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed.”

US President Donald Trump derided Kim Jong-Un as a “sick puppy” and threatened “major” new sanctions after Pyongyang tested its third ICBM − which it claimed was capable of striking anywhere in the United States.

The test ended a two-month lull in missile tests that had raised hopes for the opening of diplomatic talks.

North Korean leader Kim said the test of the Hwasong-15 weapons system had helped his country achieve the goal of becoming a full nuclear power, as the international community expressed outrage.

“We call on all nations to cut off all ties with North Korea,” Haley told the council.

The US ambassador said Trump had called Chinese President Xi Jinping and urged him to “cut off the oil from North Korea,” a move that would deal a crippling blow to North Korea’s economy.

“That would be a pivotal step in the world’s effort to stop this international pariah,” she said.

Piling pressure on China, Haley said that if Beijing does not act to cut off oil supplies “we can take the oil situation into our own hands.”

The United States earlier this year pressed for a full oil embargo on North Korea but dropped that demand in negotiations on a sanctions resolution with China.

The Security Council met at the request of the United States, Japan and South Korea to consider next steps after three rounds of sanctions adopted in the past year failed to push North Korea to change course.

Earlier, Trump − who had traded barbs with Kim for months − had asked Xi to use “all available levers” to press the hermit state.

“Additional major sanctions will be imposed on North Korea today. This situation will be handled!” Trump said on Twitter.

So far Wednesday, no new announcements were forthcoming.

Last week, Trump announced new US unilateral sanctions on Pyongyang and returned it to a US list of state sponsors of terror.

There are concerns in Seoul that Trump might be considering military action against the North that could trigger a full-scale war.

Seoul is home to 10 million people and only about 50 kilometres from the border − well within range of Pyongyang’s artillery.

Russia urged the United States to scrap military exercises planned with South Korea in December, arguing they would exacerbate tensions.

“It is essential to take a step back,” said Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, who urged Washington “to revise its policy of mutual threats and intimidation.”

China once again pressed its proposal that the North stop missile and nuclear tests in exchange for a freeze of US military exercises − a proposal Washington has repeatedly rejected.

North Korean state media said the missile launched on Wednesday was more sophisticated than any previously tested by Pyongyang.

Agence France-Presse
 

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