North Korea tells the UN: ‘Sanctions will kill our kids’
Thursday - 21/09/2017 14:37
DONALD Trump has signed a new order to ramp up sanctions against North Korea and claims China’s central bank will cut trade with the country.
US PRESIDENT Donald Trump has signed an executive order that would enable the United States to sanction individual companies and institutions that finance trade with North Korea.
Mr Trump made the announcement during a working lunch with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
Mr Trump said the measure would also disrupt other trade avenues for North Korea in efforts to halt its nuclear weapons program.
He said North Korea’s textiles, fishing, information technology, and manufacturing industries were among those the United States could target.
The president said “tolerance for this disgraceful practice must end now.”
CHINA BANK ‘TO CUT TIES’
Mr Trump also announced that China’s central bank has ordered the country’s banks to curb trade with North Korea.
The Chinese move, which Mr Trump described as “very bold” and “unexpected,” was not immediately confirmed by Beijing but if true could cut a vital source of foreign currency for the regime.
SANCTIONS WILL KILL OUR KIDS
It came after North Korea told a UN rights panel that international sanctions imposed on it over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs would endanger the survival of North Korean children.
Han Tae Song, Pyongyang’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, was speaking at a hearing of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.
The panel of independent experts challenged North Korean officials over allegations of forced child labour, sexual abuse and trafficking in North Korea, Pyongyang’s health and education budget, and internet access for children.
Mr Han said North Korea, whose population is 26 million, is a “people-centred socialist country ... where protection and promotion of the rights and welfare of the child are given top priority ... There is room for improvement.”
But Mr Han said that new sanctions imposed by the United States and the UN Security Council over North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile tests were hampering the production of nutritional goods for children and provision of textbooks.
“The persistent and vicious blockade and sanctions against the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) are not only hampering the endeavours for the protection and promotion of the rights of the child but also seriously threatening their right to survival,” he said, calling for sanctions to be lifted.
The UN Security Council has unanimously imposed nine rounds of sanctions on North Korea since 2006, the latest earlier this month capping fuel supplies to the isolated state.
South Korea approved a plan on Thursday to send $8 million worth of aid to North Korea as China warned the crisis on the divided Korean peninsula was getting more serious by the day and the war of words between Pyongyang and Washington continued.
NORTH KOREA RESPONDS TO TRUMP’S UN SPEECH
Mr Han said that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un — denounced by US President Donald Trump as “Rocket Man” - “personally guides the construction in different parts of the country of schoolchildren’s palaces, children’s hospitals, baby homes, children’s homes, and primary and secondary boarding schools and works with devotion for the wellbeing of the young generation”.
It came as North Korea’s foreign minister described as “the sound of a dog barking” Mr Trump’s threat to destroy his country.
The comments are the North’s first response to Mr Trump’s debut speech at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, during which he vowed to “totally destroy North Korea” if provoked. The North’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told reporters in New York that “it would be a dog’s dream if he intended to scare us with the sound of a dog barking.”
South Korean TV footage also showed Mr Ri saying he feels “sorry for his aides” when he was asked about Mr Trump’s “rocket man” comments.
Mr Ri was to give a speech at the UN General Assembly on Friday, according to Yonhap news agency.
AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE MINISTERS TALK NORTH KOREA
The North Korean nuclear threat topped the agenda during Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne’s bilateral talks with her US counterpart.
Senator Payne met US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis at the Pentagon in Washington DC on Thursday (Wednesday US time.)
As well as the ongoing fight against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq, the pair also discussed the South China Sea maritime boundary dispute.
“You are a trusted ally who tells us what we need to hear, not what we might want to hear, and that’s the mark of a true friend and one always worth listening to,” Mr Mattis said in his opening remarks.
“I know our two nations will stand together in defence of freedom and liberty.”
He said the US looks forward to commemorating 100 years of “mateship” with Australia in 2018.
“The Australia-US defence alliance is absolutely iron-clad, forged by 65 years of mutual trust, respect earned on the battlefield, and friendship across the sea,” he said.
Senator Payne was expected to discuss Australia’s role in the war in Afghanistan during the visit.
The Turnbull government has not ruled out increasing Australia’s military commitment to Afghanistan after Mr Trump unveiled his new war blueprint in late August.
In May, Australia’s government made a modest boost of 30 to its mission, bringing the total troops in Afghanistan to 300.