Trump wants denuclearisation of North Korea

  • 06/09/2017
Trump is calling for North Korea's denuclearisation.
Trump is calling for North Korea's denuclearisation. Photo credit: Getty

President Donald Trump continues to see the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula as the priority in how it responds to North Korea's latest nuclear weapons test, the White House says.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters on Tuesday "all options are on the table" to deal with North Korea, including diplomatic and economic measures, but said that talks with Pyongyang were not the current focus for the White House.

The comments came after a top North Korea's ambassador to the UN, Han Tae Song, warned his country is ready to send "more gift packages" to the US.

He also confirmed his country had successfully conducted its sixth and largest nuclear bomb test on Sunday.

"The recent self-defence measures by my country, DPRK, are a gift package addressed to none other than the US," Han told a disarmament conference.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Monday accused Kim Jong Un of "begging for war" with a series of nuclear bomb and missile tests.

She urged the 15-member Security Council to impose the "strongest possible" sanctions to deter him and shut down his trading partners.

But Russia's UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said on Tuesday that a US bid for the Security Council to vote on September 11 on new sanctions is "a little premature." Russia is a permanent member of the Security Council and has veto power.

Sanctions have not stopped North Korea boosting its nuclear and missile capacity as it faces off with Trump who has vowed to stop Pyongyang from being able to hit the mainland United States with a nuclear weapon.

Haley acknowledged on Tuesday that more sanctions are unlikely to change its behaviour but would cut off funding.

Diplomats have said the Security Council could consider banning North Korean textile exports, banishing its national airline and stopping supplies of oil to the government and military.

China accounted for 92 per cent of North Korea's trade in 2016, according to South Korea's government. China's foreign ministry said on Tuesday it would take part in Security Council discussions in "a responsible and constructive manner".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke by telephone on Tuesday and agreed on more sanctions.

Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May agreed during a telephone call on Tuesday that China must do more to persuade North Korea to cease its missile tests, a spokesman for May said.

May also said she would also work with EU leaders on further measures the EU could take to pressure the North Korean leadership, the spokesman said.

South Korea said on Tuesday an agreement with its ally the United States to scrap a weight limit on its warheads would help it respond to North Korea's nuclear and missile threat.

South Korea's Asia Business Daily, citing an unidentified source, reported that North Korea had been observed moving a rocket that appeared to be an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) towards its west coast.

South Korea's defence ministry, which warned that North Korea was ready to launch an ICBM at any time, said it was not able to confirm the report.