Thursday, 14 December, 2017

China raises doubts on USA policy on NKorea

Macy's 2017 Thanksgiving Parade S Macy's 2017 Thanksgiving Parade Stephanie Keith Getty Images
Sammy Stanley | 23 November, 2017, 13:05

North Korea's Air Koryo is now the only airline that has regularly scheduled flights to the isolated country.

In North Korea's first reaction to the designation, a spokesman for the foreign ministry denied in an interview with the state media outlet KCNA, that his government engaged in any terrorism. Lu said Tuesday that the situation on the Korean Peninsula is highly sensitive and that it would be "helpful to bring all parties back to the negotiation table instead of doing the opposite".

It said the US action shows North Korea should continue to "keep the treasured nuclear sword in our hands more tightly" to protect itself from American hostility.

The data is also likely to underscore Beijing's strongly-stated stance that it is rigorously enforcing United Nations resolutions aimed at reining in Pyongyang's missile and nuclear programmes.

North Korea has been accelerating its pursuit of nuclear weapons capable of targeting the United States and its Asian allies.

US President Donald Trump this week declared North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism, a spot on a US blacklist Pyongyang had shed almost a decade ago.

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Trump warned that the terror designation and sanctions announcement would be part of a series of moves over the next two weeks to reinforce his "maximum pressure campaign" against Kim Jong-Un's regime.

Japan is increasingly nervous about North Korean advances in developing nuclear weapons.

China, the North's sole ally, rejected the new sanctions as "wrong" on Wednesday.

The relisting, the North added, had reaffirmed that "we must continue to keep the treasured nuclear sword in our hands more tightly". A day after placing North Korea back on the list, the Trump administration on Tuesday imposed new sanctions on a slew of North Korean shipping firms and Chinese trading companies in an effort to increase pressure on North Korea over its nuclear program and deprive it of foreign revenue.

"It will be the highest level of sanctions by the time it's finished over a two-week period", Trump said.

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