Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida wants Japan to host a trilateral summit with South Korea and China soon. One of the topics is bound to be what to do about North Korea’s saber-rattling.
“The cooperation of Japan, China and South Korea has completely been normalized,” Mr. Kishida said recently.
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The emblem of North Korea.
North Korea has predictably called U.S. sanctions against North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and other senior Kim regime officials for human-rights abuses a “declaration of war”. Pyongyang said the announcement of sanctions was a “hideous crime”.
It’s hard to believe that it took so long, but the United States imposed its first sanctions targeting any individual North Koreans for rights abuses on July 6. The assets of Kim and 10 other high-level people and five government ministries and departments within U.S. jurisdiction are now blocked.
Meanwhile, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, a former South Korean foreign minister, hopes that China will urge its ally North Korea to cooperate internationally on human rights, his spokesman Stephane Dujarric said July 7 in New York. Such hopes have been expressed many times before with no effect.
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In the North Korean capital, Pyongyang.
It might surprise many readers to learn that the U.S. has put, for the first time, sanctions on North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un for his regime’s brutality toward his own people. Ten other high officials were also put on the financial-punishment list.
“Under Kim Jong Un, North Korea continues to inflict intolerable cruelty and hardship on millions of its own people, including extrajudicial killings, forced labor, and torture,” the U.S. Treasury Department’s top sanctions official, Adam Szubin, told The Wall Street Journal. The sanctions, he said, “highlight the U.S. government’s condemnation of this regime’s abuses and our determination to see them stopped.”
The paper reported that the penalties “freeze any assets the designated officials hold in dollars. They also bar Americans from doing business with them.”
“I think we have some evidence that more and more people in North Korea, including within the ruling regime, are conscious that the political situation on the Korean Peninsula may change at some point in their lifetimes,” a senior U.S. official involved in the sanctions told the paper. “It sends a message to people within the North Korean regime, particularly at those lower- to mid-levels, that if you become involved in abuses like running concentration camps or hunting down defectors, we will know who you are and you will end up on a blacklist that leaves you at a significant disadvantage.”
To read The Wall Street Journal story, please hit this link.
Satellite imagery suggests that China might be punishing its ally North Korea for its nuclear-weapons tests by sharply restricting trade between the two dictatorships.
“It is apparent that shortly after North Korea did the fourth nuclear test in January, China took unilateral measures to drastically curtail trade interaction along their border,” Victor Cha, director for Asian affairs at the National Security Council during the George W. Bush administration, told The Washington Post.
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U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden has warned Chinese President Xi Jinping that Japan could acquire nuclear weapons “virtually overnight.”
Mr. Biden said that he had urged Mr. Xi to push North Korea to abandon its missile and nuclear- weapons developments. But it is highly unlikely that China will push its fellow dictatorship to do s0.
The vice president was referring to Pyongyang’s recent nuclear test and missile launches in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions.
Mr. Biden said North Korea is building nuclear weapons that can strike as far as away the U.S. mainland. “And I say, so we’re going to move up our defense system,” suggesting that America will deploy an advanced U.S. missile interception system called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, in South Korea.
The vice president quoted Mr. Xi as saying, “Wait a minute, my military thinks you’re going to try to circle us.”
Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroshige Seko asserted June 24 that Japan “can never possess nuclear weapons.”
To read The Japan Times’s story on this, please hit this link.