US sanctions North Koreans linked to weapons, financial networks

03 April 2017, 02:42 | Noah Barnes

South Korea plans to allow its women's football team to make a rare visit to the North next week raising the prospect of the South's flag flying in Pyongyang.

The U.S. Treasury froze the assets of 11 agents of the North Korean government Friday in response to the regime's continued development of a nuclear missile program.

South Korean fans and North Korean ice hockey players provided a rare glimpse of inter-Korean unity Sunday, when they were brought together ahead of next year's Winter Olympics in the South. Beijing fears a potential North Korean collapse, which would result in "a unified Korea allied with the United States on their border", Carter said.

Yet Trump's team has so far shown a "strong tenacity" to follow in the footsteps of Obama, who had come to fully recognize the gravity of North Korea's nuclear and missile problem especially in his a year ago, and thus worked to present a "full-fledged and fleshed-out approach" to his successor, Straub said.

North Korea accused the United States Saturday of raising tensions to "the most extreme phase", amid measures by Washington and Seoul to contain Pyongyang's nuclear threat.

"I think you're going to see them talk very much about the responsibility that we believe China has", Haley said.

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Asked how he would tackle North Korea, Trump said: "I'm not going to tell you". Following that country's early March missile tests, which came provocatively close to Japan, the USA leader emphasized his administration's commitment to "deter and defend against North Korea's ballistic missiles using the full range of United States military capabilities".

While China provides diplomatic and economic support to its neighbour, it claims that its influence over Kim Jong-un's government is limited. It also requires the Trump administration to determine whether North Korea is a state sponsor of terrorism.

Nor can we rely on North Korean restraint in the face of a certain overwhelming USA response to an attack. North Korea's nuclear missile program is vital for the survival of the Kim Jong-un regime - both in its deterrence of and military survival against perceived outside threats, and its domestic political survival where the nuclear and ballistic missile weapons programs act as the most potent sources of regime legitimacy. Nuclear-armed North Korea launched four ballistic missiles on March 6, 2017 in another challenge to President Donald Trump, with three landing provocatively close to America's ally Japan.

Eleven North Koreans have been sanctioned for links to the country's weapons program. USA and United Nations sanctions aren't almost enough because almost all of his economic support comes from China.

As for the United Nations, she said it has "gotten stale" and she described her hatred for bureaucracy, saying she has avoided it so far by dealing only with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, whom she described as "a partner" committed like she is to reforming the world body.

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