by Staff Writers
United Nations, United States (AFP) Sept 21, 2017
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday took an indirect swipe at the United States, telling the United Nations that "military hysteria" over North Korea's nuclear and missile tests would lead to "disaster."
"We resolutely condemn the nuclear and missile adventures of Pyongyang," Lavrov said, "but military hysteria is not just an impasse, it's disaster."
The foreign minister spoke to the UN General Assembly two days after US President Donald Trump threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea if it launches attacks on his country or its allies.
The threat from North Korea's nuclear and missile tests has dominated this year's gathering of world leaders, but divisions remain over how to confront Pyongyang.
Lavrov stressed there was "no alternative to political and diplomatic ways of settling the nuclear situation" on the Korean peninsula and called on countries to support a joint Russian-Chinese proposal for talks.
Moscow and Beijing have proposed kick-starting negotiations with North Korea by freezing Pyongyang's nuclear and missile tests in exchange for a suspension of South Korean-US annual military drills.
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has dismissed the proposal as "insulting."
North Korea in recent weeks detonated its sixth nuclear bomb and has test-fired intercontinental missiles -- saying it needs to defend itself against hostility from the United States and its allies.
EU agrees on new sanctions against N.Korea: sources
The bloc has agreed a new package of measures, including a ban on investments in North Korea and on European Union exports of oil, the sources said on condition of anonymity.
EU members also want to blacklist more North Korean individuals and entities, a move that would freeze their assets in the bloc and ban them from entering its territory.
Ambassadors from the 28 member states on Thursday "agreed on a package of new autonomous measures", an EU official told AFP, and they will now be prepared in detail to be formally approved by a meeting of European foreign ministers next month.
The EU plans to reduce how much money North Korean workers in Europe can send home -- seen as a key source of vital foreign exchange revenue -- from its current level of 15,000 euros.
It also intends to expand the list of luxury products -- much loved by top officials in Pyongyang -- banned from export to the North. A cut in the number of North Korean workers in Poland from 500 to 300 is also on the cards, the sources said.
The North carried out its sixth nuclear test -- and most powerful to date -- on September 3, sparking international outrage and a fresh round of sanctions.
International powers hope that economic sanctions will deprive the North of the resources it needs to pursue its nuclear programme and pressure it into negotiating.
The EU's latest move comes as US President Donald Trump paved the way for sanctions against foreign companies doing business with North Korea.
Trump said he had signed an executive order allowing sanctions against "individuals and companies that finance and facilitate trade with North Korea."
The measure could force Chinese banks or Russian importers to decide between doing business with North Korea or being blacklisted by the United States.
Seoul (AFP) Sept 21, 2017
North Korea's foreign minister has brushed aside US President Donald Trump's fiery threat to destroy his nation, comparing it to a "dog's bark" and suggesting Pyongyang would not be deterred by the rhetoric. Trump used his stormy maiden address at the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday to warn the North that Washington would "totally destroy" it if the US or its allies was attacked. ... read more
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