us-sanctions 18 May 2017

US presses China to impose sanctions on DPRK

The US has indicated that it believes that China will agree to impose new UN sanctions on North Korea (‘DPRK’) following Pyongyang’s latest ballistic missile test on Sunday. According to North Korean state media, the missile was a ‘newly developed ballistic rocket capable of carrying a large-size heavy nuclear warhead,’ although this has not been independently verified. This was the seventh such missile test this year.

The UN Security Council held a closed-doors meeting on 16 May in response to the test.

‘The conversations that I have had… with my counterpart and in dealing with Beijing is that if (North Korea) did something else and if it looked to be long range, which this does, and if it looks like it is proactively leaning toward an ICBM [intercontinental ballistic missile], which it does, then we would take action,’ US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley told reporters ahead of the meeting.

‘I believe that China will stay true to that and we will come together on how we’re going to do that,’ she said. ‘We have not seen anything from them in the past week but we are encouraging them to continue moving forward.’

Haley also warned that Washington DC would ‘call out’ countries supporting Pyongyang.

‘We are willing to talk, but not until we see a total stop of the nuclear process and of any tests there,’ Haley said. ‘If you are a country that is supplying or supporting North Korea we will call you out on it, we will make sure that everyone knows who you are and we will target sanctions toward you as well.’

The UN Security Council has repeatedly escalated sanctions on Pyongyang since its first nuclear test in 2006.