On Sunday, President Donald J. Trump tweeted a message that suggested he was considering cutting off trade with countries doing business with North Korea. This warning came on the heels of North Korea’s claim that it had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb, potentially triggering a magnitude 6.3 earthquake in the country.
The president’s initial reaction to the news was publicized in a 3 -part, hard–hitting tweet. When put together as one statement, the message read:
“North Korea has conducted a major Nuclear Test. Their words and actions continue to be very hostile and dangerous to the United States…..North Korea is a rogue nation which has become a great threat and embarrassment to China, which is trying to help but with little success. South Korea is finding, as I have told them, that their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing!”
Later on Sunday, the president tweeted that the U.S. was to consider “stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea,” which would include China.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin agreed, saying Sunday that North Korea needs to be cut off, economically. The secretary is reportedly drafting a sanctions package to send to the president in order to address North Korea’s “unacceptable” behavior.
On Monday, China pushed back against the idea of sanctions against them.
As reported by The Hill, at a news briefing, China’s foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, said: “What is definitely unacceptable to us is that, on the one hand, we work so hard to peacefully resolve this issue and, on the other hand, our interests are subject to sanctions and jeopardized.”
Shuang added, “This is unfair.”
During an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Monday, U.S. ambassador Nikki Haley said, “The time for half measures in the security council is over.”
“The time has come to exhaust all of our diplomatic means before it is too late,” she continued. “We must now adopt the strongest possible measures. Kim Jong Un’s action cannot be seen as defensive.”
Haley contends that with his “abusive use of missiles,” North Korea’s leader is “begging for war.”
During the council meeting, Chinese ambassador to the United Nations Liu Jieyi continued to encourage dialogue, however, in dealing with North Korea and the increasing threat it poses.
“The parties concerned must strengthen their sense of urgency, take due responsibilities, play their due roles, take practical measures, make joint efforts together to ease the situation, restart the dialogue and talks and prevent further deterioration of the situation on the peninsula.”
Liu Jieyi said that while the situation on the Korean peninsula is “deteriorating constantly,” the issue should be resolved “peacefully.”
He further assured the Council that, “China will never allow chaos and war on the peninsula.”
On Sunday afternoon, Defense Secretary General James Mattis said that the United Nations Security Council was unified in its assessment that North Korea poses a threat to other nations. Mattis said the rogue nation should take heed because they “remain unanimous in their commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”
The U.S. appears to be ready for any eventuality, however, as Mattis warned North Korea: “Any threat to the United States or its territories, including Guam or our allies, will be met with a massive military response.”
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