CTBTO looking at 'unusual seismic activity' in North Korea

South Korea's presidential office said in a statement that a handful of its government agencies "still maintain [the quake] was natural and not from an explosion". But the measures contained within sit at odds with a claim made in the resolution's article 26, namely that the measures "are not meant to have adverse humanitarian consequences for the civilian population of the DPRK".

What potential actions could lead to even more destabilization and should be avoided?

The "Four Nos" commitment was stated by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on August 1, and refers to Washington's promise not to seek a regime change in Pyongyang, not to seek the collapse of the DPRK government, not to seek the acceleration of a reunified Korean Peninsula, and not to send its military north of the 38th Parallel that acts as the boundary between the DPRK and the Republic of Korea.

The agency said the quake occurred around Kilju in north-eastern North Korea, about 20 kilometres south-east of the site of a nuclear test earlier this month. He says the US keeps pressing Russian Federation and China to do more to squeeze Pyongyang economically. But this has changed since the start of 2017.

Vessels and aircraft that have visited North Korea in the past 180 days are prohibited from entering US under the new sanctions.

It's unclear what impact the new restrictions will immediately have, since complete Chinese reporting of oil product exports has been absent since 2014.

Under the sanctions, crude oil exports are limited to current levels.

Residents of the North Korean capital say the recent increases have come in a series of small steps. "If Russia wants to restore its role as a credible actor in resolving the situation with North Korea it can prove its good intentions by upholding its commitments to establish worldwide efforts on nuclear security and arms control". But is that calculation really so sound?

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North Korea has been maintaining a torrid pace in nuclear and weapons tests as it accelerates its pursuit of nuclear weapons that could viably target the United States and its allies in Asia.

She said Kim's aim in developing nuclear weapons is "to fulfill a long-term desire on the part of the North Korean regime to reunify the Korean Peninsula under the Kim family regime and proliferate these weapons and blackmail other countries". During the mass starvation of the 1990s, for example, there were no recorded incidents of significant civil unrest and the regime seemed resilient.

Tillerson said there were also lessons for Iran "which was on its own path to develop nuclear weapons" and "seems keen to preserve for itself the option to resume such work in the future", allegations strongly denied by Iran's President Hassan Rouhani. "North Koreans use Chinese front companies and Chinese partners as the main instruments to get the goods that they need in order to build their nuclear program or get food and fuel for their citizenry".

Pence said the United States and China have great cooperation potential in a wide range of areas and that the two countries should push for continuous progress in practical cooperation.

The latest United Nations sanctions for the first time imposed limits on supplies to the North of the fuel it needs to keep its citizens and soldiers moving.

Kim and US President Donald Trump have since engaged in a war of words, heightening tensions.

To be sure, not all sanctions are ill-advised.

"I certainly don't rule out that this administration could decide that a North Korean nuclear weapon on an ICBM is a big enough threat to overrule the concerns that [crippling sanctions on a big Chinese bank] could harm both economies and crack the trade relationship", he said. Read the original article.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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