U.S. may call for North’s missions to be closed

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U.S. may call for North’s missions to be closed

The United States plans to raise the need for diplomatic isolation of North Korea, including shutting down diplomatic missions around the world, when it hosts a special UN Security Council meeting later this week, an official said.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is scheduled to chair the special ministerial meeting of the Security Council on Friday to discuss North Korea in an effort to drum up international support for its push to increase pressure on North Korea over its nuclear and missile programs.

“With respect to Friday, that is, obviously, geared towards speaking to other members of the Security Council, frankly, about our conviction that we need to apply greater pressure on North Korea to get it to comply to international concerns,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said at a press briefing Wednesday.

“There are a number of options, and I feel like a broken record on this, but one of them is sanctions, but there are other pressure points. Isolation, diplomatic isolation being another one,” he said.

Asked if diplomatic isolation includes “closing missions around the world,” Toner said, “Yes.”

He added, “This is an idea that’s been around for some time. I think again, I’m not going to announce that he’s going to come out and ask other countries to do it but I do think it’s one of the options that is seriously being considered.”

Maximizing pressure on North Korea “through economic sanctions and diplomatic measures” is the main point of the new North Korea policy that the administration of President Donald Trump has come up with.

Last September, the United States asked countries around the world to “downgrade or sever” diplomatic and economic relations with North Korea after the communist nation defiantly carried out its fifth nuclear test earlier that month.

“One of the things that the secretary is going to try to build through his meetings tomorrow in New York is the sense that the global community, as a whole, needs to stand up to North Korea and needs to apply pressure on North Korea,” Toner said at a briefing Thursday.

Before the Security Council session, Tillerson plans to hold a three-way meeting with South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida to discuss a joint response to North Korea, Toner said.

Tillerson also plans to hold bilateral talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi later Friday, he said.

“The secretary will also discuss China’s unique leverage over the Kim Jong-un regime, and ask Beijing to use their influence to convince or compel North Korea to rethink its strategic calculus,” Toner said. “Secretary Tillerson will also note that the United States seeks stability and the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and remains open to negotiations towards that goal while remaining prepared, of course, to defend ourselves and our allies.”

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