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US House approves tighter sanctions against N. Korea

09 May 2017

The North Korean article cited recent commentaries by Chinese state media that it said shifted the blame for deteriorating bilateral relations onto the North and raised "lame excuses for the base acts of dancing to the tune of the U.S". Indeed, the North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman made it clear a few days ago by saying that if his country was not armed with "the powerful nuclear force", the United States would have "committed, without hesitation, the same ... aggression act in Korea as it committed against other countries".

It also claimed the plot was "recently uncovered and smashed", and accused members of the Central Intelligence Agency and IS of working with the North Korean citizen to provide money and weapons to carry out "state-sponsored terrorism", CNN reported.

The bill now heads to the Senate.

His chief rival is former software mogul Ahn Cheol-soo, who is more centrist than Moon and has a tougher stance on North Korea that would more closely align with the conservative approach of sanctions, pressure and promises of aid in return for disarmament.

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The Ministry of Unification said that the North made a "rare" direct condemnation of China, given that previously Pyongyang used the term "a neighboring country" when criticizing Beijing.

The legislation prohibits vessels owned by North Korea or other countries that violate United Nations Security Council resolutions on the country from operating in U.S. waters or docking at USA ports.

"North Korea poses an urgent threat to the United States and our allies". China, South Korea's largest trading partner, sees the system's radars as a threat to its own security and has retaliated by such measures as halting package tours to the South.

US President Donald Trump has promised to "solve" North Korea and stop it developing nuclear weapons. Importantly, many Chinese experts believe that the USA policy toward North Korea may be aimed at regime change rather than stopping the nuclear program. The measure is sponsored by Rep. Ed Royce of California, the Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Rep. Eliot Engel of NY, the committee's senior Democrat.

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Beijing regularly calls for parties to avoid raising tensions - remarks that can apply to both Washington and Pyongyang - and in February it announced the suspension of coal imports from the North for the rest of the year, a crucial foreign currency earner for the authorities.

The bill also requires the Trump administration to determine whether or not to designate North Korea as a state sponsor of terror within 90 days of being signed into law.

"It has been a long-established tradition between North Korea and China that even if they held grudges against each other, they didn't voice them in public", Cheong Seong-chang, an analyst at a South Korean think tank, told The New York Times. He also says he wants a more assertive South Korea, which would persuade Washington to improve ties with Pyongyang, try to restart dormant regional disarmament-for-aid talks and push for a permanent peace treaty on the Korean Peninsula.

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US House approves tighter sanctions against N. Korea