North Korea poses grave and growing threat: US and South Korea

Washington: US President Donald Trump and his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-In today agreed that North Korea poses a “grave and growing direct threat” to most of the world as the two leaders in a telephone call welcomed the new sanctions imposed on Pyongyang by the UNSC.

The phone call comes a day after the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to increase sanctions on North Korea for its continued intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) testing and violations of UN resolutions.

They discussed North Korea’s July 28 launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile, the White House said.

“The two leaders 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 White House said in a statement.

Trump and Moon welcomed the new United Nations Security Council resolution that targets North Korea’s primary exports, including coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood. The sanctions also target other revenue streams, such as banks and joint ventures with foreign companies.

“President Trump and President Moon welcomed the new United Nations Security Council resolution that unanimously passed 15-0. The leaders committed to fully implement all relevant resolutions and to urge the international community to do so as well,” the White House added.

After the phone call, Trump reiterated on Twitter that he is “very happy and impressed with 15-0 United Nations vote on North Korea sanctions.”

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met his South Korean counterpart Kang Kyung-wha in Manila yesterday, the State Department said.

The US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said that it is time for Pyongyang to realise that the US is “not playing anymore”.

“It is time for North Korea to realise, we are not playing anymore,” Haley told Fox News in an interview.

The UN Security Council sanctions sends a strong message in this regard, she said.

“A third of their trade exports have been hit, and we basically gave them a kick in the gut with a billion dollars of sanctions that they are going to begin to feel right away,” Haley said.