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US, South Korea, Japan Call for Stiffer Sanctions Against North Korea

  • VOA News

This image made from video of a news bulletin aired by North Korea's KRT on July 4, 2017, shows what was said to be North Korea leader Kim Jung Un, center, watching the launch of a Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile, July 4, 2017.

Leaders from the United States, South Korea and Japan agreed Friday to urge the United Nations to speed up the implementation of sanctions against North Korea following the country's July 4 intercontinental missile launch.

The three leaders are asking the international community to quickly implement all United Nation’s Security Council resolutions meant to punish North Korea, according to a read-out of conversations held between U.S. President Donald Trump, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany.

The leaders all re-affirmed their commitment to denuclearize North Korea, and they called on nations bordering North Korea to help convince its leadership to stop threatening other countries and halt its ballistic missile program, according to the read-out.

The meeting comes two days after U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley warned that North Korea's missile tests were "quickly closing off the possibility of a diplomatic solution" and said the U.S. would propose new U.N. sanctions against the country "in the coming days."

Among new sanctions under consideration, U.S. officials indicated, are restrictions on the flow of oil and other energy supplies to Pyongyang's military and weapons programs, tightened controls over air and maritime traffic to North Korea, and further moves to hold senior officials of the Kim Jong Un regime accountable for the country's defiance of international demands to shut down its nuclear-weapons development program.

Additionally, Haley said Washington would be willing to cut-off trade with countries that violate U.N. resolutions barring trade with North Korea.

On Tuesday, North Korea launched its first known intercontinental ballistic missile, complete with a re-entry vehicle that would allow it to be equipped with a nuclear warhead.

U.S. military officials estimate the missile had a range of 5,500 kilometers, potentially putting parts of the northwestern United States within Pyongyang's reach.

Trump, on Thursday, said he is prepared to do "some pretty severe things" to stop North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

"They are behaving in a very, very dangerous manner and something will have to be done," he said. "There are consequences for their very, very bad behavior."

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