China holds the key to resolving the North Korean nuclear crisis and must do more to use all its influence and levers to deal with its neighbour, British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said on Wednesday. "China holds the key, the oil to North Korea flows from China ... China has not just influence but has many of the levers that are needed to change behaviour in North Korea," Fallon told BBC radio.
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Global shares fell and the dollar dipped against the Japanese yen on Wednesday as still-simmering tension over the Korean peninsula kept investors wary of taking on risk. European and Asian shares dropped after the S&P 500 suffered its biggest one-day fall in three weeks on Tuesday as U.S. investors sold in reaction to North Korea's sixth and biggest nuclear weapons test on Sunday.
Vladimir Putin denounced Pyongyang's sixth and largest nuclear bomb test on Sunday, saying Russia did not recognise North Korea's nuclear status. Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear programme is a crude violation of UN Security Council resolutions, undermines the non-proliferation regime and creates a threat to the security of northeastern Asia," Putin said at a joint news conference. "At the same time, it is clear that it is impossible to resolve the problem of the Korean peninsula only by sanctions and pressure," he said.
The United States is pushing for tougher UN sanctions, but Russia and China are arguing for dialogue with Pyongyang on denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
On Tuesday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had warned against using "confrontational rhetoric" over North Korea and said big powers must come up with a single strategy to address the crisis.
Guterres appeared to be taking a swipe at North Korea's leadership and at US President Donald Trump who has warned that Pyongyang would face "fire and fury" if it keeps threatening the United States.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in told his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, today, that the situation on the Korean peninsula was complicated because of provocations by North Korea. They met on the sidelines of an economic summit in the Russian far eastern city of Vladivostok as international concerns grow over Pyongyang's powerful nuclear test at the weekend. He added that the situation could become unpredictable if North Korea did not halt its provocative actions, according to a Russian translation of his comments in Korean to Putin.
United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Tuesday said that more sanctions on North Korea are unlikely to change the country's behavior but would cut off funding for its ballistic missile and nuclear programs, Reuters reported. "Do we think more sanctions are going to work on North Korea? Not necessarily," Haley told the American Enterprise Institute. "But what does it do? It cuts off the revenue that allows them to build ballistic missiles."
According to a report in Reuters, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke by telephone on Tuesday and agreed that sanctions against Pyongyang should be stepped up in response to North Korea's nuclear test, a spokesman for the German government said.
"She agreed with Prime Minister Abe that North Korea's latest nuclear test threatened the security of the entire world and that this massive violation of the U.N. Security Council's resolution must result in a resolute reaction from the international community as well as tougher sanctions," spokesman Steffen Seibert said.
Here's a quick recap of what happened:
A top North Korean diplomat has warned that his country is ready to send "more gift packages" to the United States, Reuters reported.
"The recent self-defence measures by my country, DPRK, are a gift package addressed to none other than the US," Han told a disarmament conference, using the acronym for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the country’s formal name.
"The U.S. will receive more 'gift packages' ... as long as it relies on reckless provocations and futile attempts to put pressure on the DPRK," he said without elaborating.
On Tuesday (yesterday), South Korea's National Intelligence Service (NIS) had said that North Korea is believed to be moving an ICBM. It also said that the missile's projectile and how it was being transported was unclear.
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