DPRK nuclear test: UN Security Council to host emergency meeting, Trump admin responds

World Today

DPRK-NKOREA-POLITICS-MISSILEThis July 28, 2017 picture released from North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on July 29, 2017 shows North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), Hwasong-14 being lauched at an undisclosed place in North Korea. AFP PHOTO / KCNA VIS KNS / STR

The Republic of Korea says it will push for new UN sanctions to “completely isolate” Pyongyang. This comes in response to a nuclear test the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea says was a hydrogen bomb detonation. CGTN’s Jack Barton and Toby Muse report.

The United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on Monday over the DPRK’s latest nuclear test. According to the American ambassador to the UN, the meeting was scheduled at the request of the United States, France, Japan, and the Republic of Korea.

Earlier in the day, the U.S. reacted angrily to the Pyongyang’s largest nuclear test to date, threatening tougher sanctions and warning that that any threat will be met with a massive response.

When leaving a church service in Washington, DC, a reporter asked President Donald Trump if he would attack the DPRK. The President responded: “we’ll see.”

Later, Trump lashed out at several countries on Twitter. Referring to the Republic of Korea, an American ally, Trump tweeted: “their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work.”

He also tweeted that the DPRK has become an “embarrassment to China, which is trying to help but with little success.”

Top military and security officials then met with Trump at the White House to discuss the situation.

“We have many military options and the President wanted to briefed on each one of them,” Defense Secretary James Mattis told reporters afterwards. “We made clear that we have the ability to defend ourselves and our allies South Korea and Japan from any attack. And our commitments among the allies are ironclad. Any threat to the United or its territories, including Guam, or our allies will be met with a massive military response.”

US Defense Secretary James Mattis (L) speaks to the press with Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, about the situation in North Korea at the White House in Washington, DC, on September 3, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / NICHOLAS KAMM)

In a television interview with Fox News, Trump’s treasury secretary suggested tougher sanctions could be on the way, potentially targeting those who trade with Pyongyang.

“We have already started with sanctions against North Korea, but I am going to draft a sanctions package to send to the President for his strong consideration, that anybody who wants to do trade or business with them would be prevented from doing trade or business with us,” Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

How likely it is for those sanctions to be implemented is unclear. But it would not bode well for trade ties with China, the DPRK’s principal trading partner.

Other neighboring countries sought to present a united front in condemning the test.

“Together with international community including the United States, South Korea, China and Russia, Japan will take determined actions against North Korea,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.

At the BRICS gathering in Xiamen, Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Both pledged to “appropriately deal with” the latest nuclear test.

Separately, China’s foreign ministry released a statement saying it “will work unwaveringly to denuclearize the Korean peninsula, and unswervingly maintain peace and stability there.”

UN Secretary General António Guterres added to the international chorus condemning the DPRK’s newest test, calling it “yet another serious breach of the country’s international obligations.”

Brian Becker on the DPRK’s intent for its nuclear weapons

To understand the intent behind Pyongyang’s nuclear test, CGTN’s Wang Guan spoke with Brian Becker from Washington via Skype. He is a policy analyst on U.S./ DPRK relations and he’s visited the DPRK several times.

Sam Yoon on the Korean American’s perspective on the DPRK

For a Korean American’s view of th DPRK, CGTN’s Wang Guan talked with Sam Yoon. He’s the Executive Director of the Council of Korean Americans.