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Tillerson takes North Korea pressure campaign to Asia

Tillerson takes North Korea pressure campaign to Asia

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) gathering came a day after the United Nations imposed tough new sanctions on Pyongyang for its nuclear and missile programs and less than a week after Tillerson vowed that the USA has no intention of overthrowing the dictatorship of Kim Jong Un.

If fully implemented, the new sanctions-which target coal, seafood, and metals exports; prohibit the employment of North Korean guest workers; and expand sanctions on joint economic ventures-could cut North Korea's $3 billion annual export revenue by a third, according to USA officials. The latest penalties, which ban Pyongyang's exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood, could (if fully enforced) cut North Korea's exports by an estimated $1 billion, or a third of the regime's total export revenue.

Speaking at a regional security forum in Manila on Monday, Wang said the new resolution showed China and the worldwide community's opposition to North Korea's continued missile tests, the foreign ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson takes his pressure campaign against North Korea to Asian leaders on Sunday as the U.S. intensifies its efforts to isolate Pyongyang. "Very big financial impact!"

The U.S. led the sanctions after Pyongyang successfully tested its intercontinental ballistic missiles twice in July.

Many Americans don't. About 72 percent told CBS News they are "uneasy" about a possible conflict with North Korea. "We must be tough & decisive!" he wrote. Malaysia is one of several countries making it harder for North Koreans to enter the country.

The possibility of escalation is made even more acute by the lack of any means of official communication across the Demilitarized Zone, though there has been no easing of the barrage of inflammatory comments in the US and the North since new sanctions against North Korea were announced last week.

Speaking to reporters at a regional forum in the Philippine capital, Manila, North Korean spokesman Bang Kwang Hyuk said: "The worsening situation on the Korean peninsula, as well as the nuclear issues, were caused by the United States".

Washington is leaving it to China to restate world powers' opposition to new nuclear bomb tests while the United States urges a halt in missile launches "which obviously is a much lower rhetorical barrier to resuming talks", the official said.

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China appreciated comments earlier this month by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that the United States does not seek to topple the North Korean government and would like dialogue with Pyongyang at some point, Wang added.

"We'll know it when we see it", said Tillerson.

Kang and Ri will attend the annual ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) to be held later on Monday where the North's nuclear and missile threats will be high on the agenda.

The communique late on Sunday came after two days of busy diplomacy ahead of a Association of South East Asian Nations meeting in Manila.

Wang also pressed for a restart of six-party talks involving North and South Korea, the U.S., China, Russia and Japan.

Within the framework of the resolution, the United Nations members would not be available to open joint ventures or cooperative entities with North Korean entities or individuals, as well as not to increase the number of North Korean workers already engaged in the projects on the territories of the member states.

The U.S. has rejected both proposals, although Tillerson said last week the U.S. was willing to talk with Pyongyang - if the North agrees to abandon its quest for nuclear weapons. While the US position is that North Korea must ultimately give up its nukes, the North insists it must keep them. But Wang also called on the United States to dial back the tension. "You're not gonna see the North Koreans stepping back and ceasing these tests".

On Monday, Tillerson is scheduled to meet with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and will likely raise the issue of human rights in the country where a brutal crackdown on drugs has left more than 7,000 dead, Thornton said last week.