New US penalties on Chinese, Russian firms over North Korea

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 28, 2017

Diplomat Ju Yong Chol said Tuesday that other countries which spoke at a Conference on Disarmament session against Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and missile tests had been siding with the "hostile" USA position.

Tens of thousands of South Korean and U.S. troops are taking part in the "Ulchi Freedom Guardian" joint military drills, a largely computer-simulated exercise that runs for two weeks in the South.

Just last week, Pyongyang said it had finalized a plan to fire four missiles toward the United States territory of Guam.

Moon, who took office in May, announced on his 100th day in office that US and South Korean policies are aligned on North Korea.

"We need to see more on their part", he said, without elaborating.

State media in the North said: "The joint exercise is the most explicit expression of hostility against us, and no one can guarantee that the exercise won't evolve into actual fighting".

A report Pyongyang has earned millions of dollars in exports seemed likely, meanwhile, to raise doubts about the impact of sanctions to pressure North Korea into dismantling its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. -South Korean military drills that it claims are an invasion rehearsal, senior US military commanders on Tuesday dismissed calls to pause or downsize exercises they called crucial to countering a clear threat from Pyongyang.

The allies kicked off the UFG exercises Monday, which will run until August 31, mobilizing some 17,500 USA servicemen and about 50,000 South Korean forces.

"There is no intent at all to heighten military tension on the Korean peninsula as these drills are held annually and are of a defensive nature", Moon told cabinet ministers.

"This is absolutely the wrong direction for the Korean Peninsula; this according to the people of South Korea, this according to the people of North Korea, this according to the governments of Russian Federation and China".

U.S. President Donald Trump warned North Korea this month it would face "fire and fury" if it threatens the United States.

North Korea claims it can miniaturise a nuclear device to fit onto a missile. They also note that the lion's share of the U.S. forces come from those stationed in South Korea and that the number of soldiers coming from outside of Korea increased to 3,000 from 2,500 previous year.

The "lax enforcement" of existing sanctions and Pyongyang's "evolving evasion techniques" were undermining the U.N. goal of getting North Korea to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, according to the report by independent U.N. experts who monitor sanctions violations for the U.N. Security Council.

Some 40,000 American and South Korean troops as well as civilians, training civil defense response, will participate in the exercises.

North Korea has around 15 large state-owned garment exporting enterprises, some located in Siniuju city just across the border from Dandong, and others outside the capital Pyongyang.

Mr Kim has said North Korea can target the United States "anytime and neither Guam, Hawaii nor the mainland can dodge the merciless strike".

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