Today in Luxembourg, ahead of the Foreign ministers Council meeting, the EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini said that she expects economic pressure in combination with diplomatic pressure on North Korea will deliver results.
“We are also working on DPRK with third countries to make sure they do implement the UN Security Council sanctions in their entirety, because we know very well that between the European Union and DPRK there is not much in place in terms of economic relations. So, we understand very well that the impact of our sanctions is limited. But there are others that do have relations with DPRK that can have a major impact on the regime there” – Mogherini continued.
“The mix of economic pressure, working with third countries and partners, especially in the region, in particular coordinating with South Korea – that is the country that is more exposed to any possible developments there” Mogherini said. She also underlined the EU full support the approach that the President of the Republic of Korea, Moon Jae-in and the Foreign Minister of South Korea are undertaking recently.
U.S. President Donald Trump wanted to dramatically increase the country’s nuclear arsenal, he said in a meeting with his national security advisers in July, NBC News reported on Wednesday, citing three officials who were present in the room.
Trump’s reported comments come as tensions remained high with North Korea and as Trump is expected to make an announcement on whether to decertify the international deal surrounding Iran’s nuclear program.
U.S. President Donald Trump ordered new sanctions on Thursday, September 21, that open the door wider to blacklisting people and entities doing business with North Korea, including its shipping and trade networks, further tightening the screws on Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile program.
Trump stopped short of going after North Korea’s biggest trading partner, China, and praised its central bank for ordering Chinese banks to stop doing business with North Korea.
Pyongyang has resisted international pressure, conducting its sixth and largest nuclear test on Sept. 3, and launching numerous missiles this year, including two intercontinental ballistic missiles and two other rockets that flew over Japan.
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis showed reserve about the existence of military options on North Korea that might spare Seoul from a brutal counterattack but declined to say what kind of options he was talking about or whether they involved the use of lethal force.
Asked whether there were any military options the United States could take with North Korea that would not put Seoul at grave risk, Mattis said: “Yes there are. But I will not go into details.”
Pressed on whether that might include so-called “kinetic” options that use lethal force, Mattis said: “I don’t want to go into that.”
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley previously said on the U.N. Security Council had run out of options on containing North Korea’s nuclear program and that the United States might have to turn the matter over to the Pentagon.
Seoul is within artillery range of North Korea, which beyond nuclear and conventional weapons is also believed to have a sizable chemical and biological arsenal.
Concluding talks, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe “decisively condemned” North Korean ballistic weapons tests.
“We decisively condemned North Korea’s launch of a medium-range ballistic missile that flew over Japan’s territory on August 28, as well as the new nuclear tests conducted on September 3,” Putin said in a statement.
Condemning North Korea’s missile and nuclear development as posing a threat to international and regional peace and safety, Putin added, that “there are only political and diplomatic means to resolve the nuclear problem on the Korean Peninsula.”
Russian President reiterated that the crisis around North Korea should be resolved only by political means, and that it posed a threat to peace and stability in the region, calling to resolved it through a road map proposed by Moscow and Beijing.
Putin also said he and Abe discussed the prospect of joint economic activities by their countries on the disputed Kuril islands.
Putin said he and Abe discussed the prospect of a peace treaty officially ending World War Two hostilities, which has never been signed because of the territorial dispute over islands.
Abe and Putin also agreed in talks on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in the Russian Far East city of Vladivostok to conduct joint economic activities on disputed islands off Hokkaido in five areas: aquaculture, greenhouse farming, tourism, wind power and waste reduction.