Japan yesterday backed a US push for the UN Security Council to vote today on fresh sanctions against Pyongyang, saying that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s nuclear program poses the most serious threat since World War II.
Japanese Minister of Defense Itsunori Onodera urged tougher sanctions, including curbing oil supplies to North Korea.
He said that the regime’s advances in missile technology are complicating Japan’s ability to intercept them.
“Japan’s security environment including North Korea is increasingly grave — perhaps it’s the most serious state in the post-war period,” Onodera told public broadcaster NHK. “If North Korea-bound oil, mainly coming from China, decreases through pressure by the international community, it will be difficult for North Korea to operate its missile brigades.”
US President Donald Trump’s administration is pushing the UN Security Council to adopt a united stance as Kim gets closer to being able to strike the US with a nuclear weapon.
China and Russia, which can veto any UN measures, have expressed skepticism that tough sanctions will stop North Korea’s nuclear push and have pushed for peace talks.
North Korea detonated its sixth and most powerful nuclear bomb on Sunday last week, which it said was a hydrogen device.
South Korea has detected moves that indicate it might soon launch another intercontinental ballistic missile.
Kim, who has said he will not negotiate unless the US drops its “hostile policies,” threw a banquet for nuclear scientists and technicians to celebrate the hydrogen bomb test, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported yesterday.
North Korean state-run newspaper Rodong Sinmun on Saturday said in an editorial that Pyongyang was now a nuclear power and praised Kim for strengthening “defenses to protect the Korean Peninsula from invasion.”
KCNA said in a commentary that the US was resorting to sanctions and pressure rather than seeking talks.
The US has circulated a draft resolution that would, aside from barring crude oil shipments to North Korea, ban the nation’s exports of textiles and prohibit employment of its guest workers by other countries, according to a diplomat at the world body.
The proposal, which also calls for freezing Kim’s assets, has been sent to the 15 members of the UN Security Council, the diplomat said.
The US is willing to risk a veto of its proposal rather than see it watered down, according to a diplomat who asked not to be identified while negotiations are ongoing.
A halt to oil exports is far from certain. While China and Russia have condemned Kim’s actions, they have said the ultimate goal needs to be to coax him to the negotiating table and avoid a war.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said more sanctions would not work, while China is wary about cutting off Kim’s economic lifeline to the point it risks collapsing his regime.
China is North Korea’s main ally and by far its biggest trading partner, including for oil shipments.
SAFETY RISK: The government is working to categorize countries based on their COVID-19 cases and prevention efforts, which would determine quarantine periods The government plans to rank countries based on their COVID-19 risks to determine how to treat tourists and other travelers from those nations once Taiwan reopens its borders, but it is still working out the categories, a top health official told lawmakers yesterday. “We would divide countries around the world into several categories. One category would comprise those countries with very few confirmed COVID-19 cases, such as New Zealand and Palau. Travelers from the countries in this category would only need to practice self-health management,” Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told a Legislative Yuan seminar hosted by
CASH BOOST: Foreign spouses with residency permits are also eligible for the coupons, which can be bought at post offices or linked to digital payment options Stimulus coupons for Taiwanese and foreign spouses with residency permits can be ordered starting on July 1 and can be used from July 15 to Dec. 31, the Executive Yuan said yesterday. Aimed at boosting domestic spending, the coupons worth NT$3,000 (US$100.04) are to cost NT$1,000. “For our consumers, this is a very good deal as they get three times as much value for their money,” Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told a news conference in Taipei. While the coupons are to have a wide range of uses, including at department stores, restaurants, book stores, night markets, beauty and hair salons, hotels, and to
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
Beijing is to ease a ban on foreign airlines starting on Monday next week, changing course one day after the administration of US President Donald Trump demanded that China reopen to US airlines or face curbs on its own carriers flying passengers to the US. Foreign airlines excluded from an earlier pact would be able to operate one commercial passenger flight to China per week, the Chinese Civil Aviation Administration said. It did not name any countries or carriers, but the move opens up a chance for US airlines to return for the first time in four months. While the timing might