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N.Korea resists USA pressure

04 March 2018

South Korea's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha plans to visit the United States soon to discuss the North Korean nuclear issue and possible talks between the US and North Korea.

Also on Monday, it was reported that South Korean President Moon Jae-in urged the USA and North Korea both to give ground in order to come to the negotiating table.

The February 23, 2018 expansion of USA sanctions targeting North Korea is the latest step in the U.S. "maximum pressure" campaign to isolate North Korea economically and to force individuals and entities around the world to choose between doing business with North Korea or doing business with the United States.

In a parallel action, OFAC, the US State Department and the US Coast Guard issued a global advisory to highlight the significant sanctions risks related to shipments of goods to and from North Korea, including for insurers, flag registries, shipping companies and financial institutions. "Joe Yun is the only senior official left at State who has experience dealing with the complexities of North Korea policy".

South Korea this week urged Washington and Pyongyang to give ground to allow for talks. Trump left the door open, but indicated he wouldn't back down from the condition that Pyongyang is willing to talk denuclearization.

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Yun told South Korea's Yonhap news agency he was "very hopeful about talks".

The US also fears that if North Korea becomes a full nuclear power Japan may follow suit, sparking a destabilizing nuclear arms race in the region.

The newspaper also accused the U.S. of misleading the worldwide community by saying the North is begging for talks because it is giving in to sanctions and pressure.

He has warned that if the latest sanctions do not work, "we'll have to go to phase two".

But North Korea's envoy, addressing the same gathering, dismissed sanctions as ineffective and said plans by Seoul and Washington to resume joint military exercises would harm "the current positive process of improved inter-Korean relations".

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The loss of Yun may complicate efforts by the Trump administration to achieve a diplomatic solution to the nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula.

Most were deeply skeptical about his chances. "Otherwise we're not talking", Trump was quoted by Reuters as saying while hosting a meeting with state governors at the White House. He is believed to have been a key player in securing the release of Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old college student who spent a year in detention in North Korea.

Yun was in contact with North Korean officials to coordinate that trip.

Tillerson's direction for the State Department has concerned foreign policy experts and officials who have voiced their worries.

On Friday, Washington announced its largest package of sanctions yet on North Korea.

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N.Korea resists USA pressure