Tillerson: Russia and China are “enablers” of North Korea

After reports that North Korea has successfully launched a second intercontinental ballistic missile that could actually be capable of reaching cities on the U.S. mainland, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson put the blame on Russia and China early Saturday, calling them the “principal economic enablers” of North Korea’s weapons programs.

“All nations should take a strong public stance against North Korea by maintaining and strengthening U.N. sanctions to ensure North Korea will face consequences for its relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them,” Tillerson stated.

He added, “We will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea nor abandon our commitment to our allies and partners in the region.”

China has reportedly tried pressuring North Korea into following all relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions and stop any actions that could escalate tensions, such as launching test missiles, but to no avail.

President Trump condemned North Korea’s action as “reckless and dangerous,” and said the U.S. is prepared to take all “necessary steps” to protect itself and its allies.

North Korean president Jim Jong Un’s threats that his missile’s can now strike anywhere within the entire continental U.S. have raised concern, Bloomberg also reported, as tests showed the missiles are capable of hitting major U.S. cities such as Denver or Chicago.

“We have demonstrated our ability to fire our intercontinental ballistic rocket at any time and place and that the entire U.S. territory is within our shooting range,” the state-run Korean Central News Agency said on Saturday, citing Kim. It said the test was part of the “final verification” of the Hwasong-14 missile’s technical capabilities, including its maximum range.

 

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