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Threats and warnings escalate over North Korea’s missile program

August 31, 2017 3:33 AM
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Threats and warnings escalate over North Korea’s missile program

Malcolm Turnbull describes the real threat from North Korea1:25

MALCOLM Turnbull has suggested how China needs to be more brutal with North Korea to bring the rogue nation under control.

The comments were his most specific yet on what China should do to pressure Pyongyang. He called for further economic sanctions to be imposed on the state, beyond the range expected to be implemented from next week.

“I think further economic sanctions will need to be imposed; the alternative is a shocking one,” he told 2SM radio today.

“(Pyongyang may need to be) completely and utterly economically isolated. Now that would impose hardship on North Korea but it’s better to resolve this without conflict,” he said.

On August 6, the UN Security Council including Russia and China agreed to another round of sanctions against North Korea in response to its continued intercontinental ballistic missile testing and violations of UN resolutions. The sanctions aimed to cut the country’s annual export revenue of $US3 billion by one third.

Mr Turnbull said China should impose its own economic measures against the country.

“They are committed to stop buying coal and iron ore and seafood and other products from North Korea. They can go further, they can cut off their oil supply, for example. So China really has to step up now”.

“They have North Korean workers working in China who send remittances back to North Korea, They could be sent back to North Korea, there’s a whole range of things that China has committed to do already and more things it could do in the future,” he said.

PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull says Australia would go to war if the US asked us to join them, as he called for more economic pressure on North Korea and likened the rogue nation to the mafia.

After US President Donald Trump warned that talking was not the answer, Mr Turnbull agreed military conflict was an option to deal with Pyongyang - but not the only one.

“They’re stand-over merchants. What they’re seeking to do is intimidate other countries to not impose sanctions and that’s why the sanctions must be imposed,” Mr Turnbull told Sunrise on Thursday.

enforced, and in particular by China, who say that they will. Remember that China has the overwhelming economic relationship with North Korea. They have the greatest leverage and therefore the greatest responsibility.”

When asked if Australia would join the US if Trump called him, Mr Turnbull said we would come to their aid in going to war.

“Clearly, if the United States were attacked, we would come to the US aid, and ... vice versa, if we were attacked, the US would come to our aid.”

Mr Turnbull said the global community was absolutely united in standing up to the Kim Jong-un regime, citing tougher sanctions that come into effect next week.

“If North Korea were to attack the United States, as they often threaten to do, there would be a conflict which would be a suicide note from North Korea’s point of view,” he said.

His comments come after he warned the risk of war with North Korea is “getting greater all the time”, as Kim Jong-un wrote “a suicide note”.

Prime Minister Turnbull said the repercussions for North Korea if it continued to pursue its missile ambitions would be devastating.

“If the leader of North Korea continues down this provocative track, the risk of war gets greater all the time,” Mr Turnbull told the program.

He continued: “If he starts a war the reality, however, is he will lose it instantly. It would be a suicide note on his part.

“So what he is trying to do is intimidate his neighbours, intimidate South Korea, intimidate Japan, into giving him what he wants ... intimidate the United States, in regards to these economic sanctions.

“He wants to be able to be free with these missile tests and he is threatening people and dangerous contact. We utterly condemn this reckless act. The Prime Minster of Japan Shinzo Abe and I were discussing it this afternoon.”

Mr Turnbull said it was up to China to prevent the situation from becoming worse.

“The global community is absolutely united in our determination to bring Kim Jong-un to his senses. The key to doing that is for China to enforce United Nations Security Council sanctions, which they said they will do,” he said.

“Their economic relationship with China is the biggest by far. So they have the ability to turn the screws economically and bring that regime to its senses. But he is going down a very, very dangerous path.”

“Kim Jong-un is behaving in a manner that is illegal, dangerous, reckless and provocative,” he said.

“He is threatening the region and the world. He has to come to his senses. Nobody wants conflict and we need that continued economic tightening on North Korea because ultimately, that will bring that regime to its senses.”

Mr Turnbull’s comments came as Kim Jong-un said the launch of the missile over Japan was the start of more military operations aimed at the American territory of Guam.

In statements carried by state run news agency Korean Central News Agency, Kim Jong-un hailed the launch of the “ultra-modern rocket”.

The launch was “the first step of the military operation in the Pacific and a meaningful prelude to containing Guam,” the statement said.

The governor’s office in Guam said there was no change in the island’s threat level.

“We knew, based on North Korea events in previous years, that with the joint exercise between the US, South Korea, and its allies, we can expect rhetoric and activity in North Korea,” said George Charfauros, Guam homeland security adviser told CNN.

Early on Wednesday, the US Defence Department’s Missile Defense Agency and the crew of the USS John Paul Jones conducted a “complex missile defence flight test” off Hawaii, resulting in the intercept of a medium-range ballistic missile target, the agency said.

China is working with other members of the United Nations Security Council on a response to North Korea’s missile launch over Japan, the Chinese foreign minister said on Wednesday.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke hours after the UN Security Council unanimously condemned Tuesday’s test and Japan’s UN ambassador suggested that a new sanctions declaration could come next.

Wang said China — which is Pyongyang’s only major ally — was “now working with other members of the Security Council to discuss the recent developments of the situation”.

He added that “based on the consensus of Security Council members, we are going to make a necessary response to the recent test launch of the missile”.

But Wang did not specify whether a fresh set of sanctions was looming.

“Whether there will be new measures going forward, that should be discussed by the Security Council and consensus needs to be formed,” Wang told a news briefing.

The foreign minister said China opposes the missile launch, which he said violated the non-proliferation treaty.

He urged for a resumption of long-dormant negotiations and urged all parties to avoid actions that “may further escalate tensions”.

“A very important part of Security Council resolutions — which is also a consensus of the Security Council members — is that we should continue to stick to peaceful and diplomatic means to resolve this issue,” Wang said.

He spoke at a briefing ahead of next week’s BRICS summit hosted by China, which also includes Security Council member Russia along with Brazil, India and South Africa.

Later on Wednesday, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying criticised the actions of “relevant parties” who say China should step up pressure on North Korea.

“They only pay attention to sanctions and pressure, and ignore peace talks. When we promote peace talks, they ignore this,” Hua said at a regular press briefing.

“You will reap what you sow. The parties directly concerned should take responsibility,” Hua added.


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