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North Korea promises to take 'thousands-fold revenge' on U.S. over sanctions

08 August 2017

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and South Korea's Kang were scheduled to meet separately and discuss their assessment and responses to North Korea's recent missile tests, the South's foreign ministry said.

It says the United Nations sanctions will never force the country to negotiate over its nuclear programme or to give up its nuclear drive. So if these are properly implemented by the customer countries, such as China, the sanctions could slash North Korea's annual export revenue by about a billion dollars, and that's a third of its annual exports.

He went on to encourage the United States and South Korea not to increase the tension.

"This is not 'Give me 30 days and we're ready to talk.' It's not quite that simple".

For the USA, it was a long-awaited sign of progress for Trump's strategy of trying to enlist Beijing's help to squeeze North Korea diplomatically and economically.

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He added: 'So it is all about how we see their attitude towards approaching a dialogue with us.

Disagreement partly over whether to include criticism, even indirectly, of China's increasingly assertive moves in the contested territories delayed the issuance of a joint communique of ASEAN foreign ministers after they held their annual meetings on Saturday in Manila.

"The best signal that North Korea could send that they're prepared to talk would be to stop these missile launches", said Tillerson, who was in Manila to attend the regional security meeting with the Association of the South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN). "The sanctions will have an economic impact but little effect on the strategic intent to develop ballistic missiles".

Wang said the two had an intensive conversation during which China urged North Korea to maintain calm.

"Do not violate the U.N.'s decision or provoke global society's goodwill by conducting missile launching or nuclear tests", Wang said, in an unusually direct admonition.

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US President Donald Trump and his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-In, spoke on the phone on Sunday and agreed the North "poses a grave and growing direct threat" to most countries around the world, according to a White House statement.

The lengthy statement was the first reaction from North Korea since the UN Security Council resolution proposed by the United States was passed on Saturday, with the backing of China and Russian Federation.

Speaking to reporters at a security forum in the Philippine capital, Mr Tillerson said Washington would only consider talks if Pyongyang halted its ballistic missile programme - something the North has insisted it has no intention of doing.

A North Korean missile launched on July 29.

Tillerson said: "When the conditions are right then we can sit and have a dialogue around the future of North Korea so they feel secure and prosper economically".

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North Korea has long accused the United States and South Korea of escalating tensions by conducting military drills.

North Korea promises to take 'thousands-fold revenge' on U.S. over sanctions