U.S., South Korea, Japan to work toward tougher North Korea sanctions

All representatives said North Korea has challenged the international order.
By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |   Jan. 13, 2016 at 12:44 PM
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SEOUL, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- The United States, Japan and South Korea representatives of the six-party talks vowed to make every diplomatic effort to strengthen sanctions against North Korea.

Ambassador Sung Kim, U.S. special representative for North Korea policy; Hwang Joon-kook, South Korea special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs; and Japanese delegate Kimihiro Ishikane met in Seoul on Wednesday to discuss actions in response to Pyongyang's nuclear test claim, South Korean television network MBC reported.

Kim said a strong response to the North's nuclear test is planned, and Hwang said Seoul is to continue cooperation and "close communication" with China and Russia, Yonhap reported.

All representatives said North Korea has challenged the international order and was presenting a threat to world peace. They discussed ways to draw out a more potent United Nations Security Council resolution that could lead to tougher sanctions.

China was mentioned as a key player in future negotiations, but Beijing's cooperation could have limits, given its traditional ties to the North Korea leadership.

South Korea also is expected to reach out to Russia on Jan. 19 to discuss sanctions.

Experts and government officials have generally been in agreement that the North's claimed "successful" hydrogen test did not go as planned.

But North Korea has continued to tout the experiment as a victory for the state.

Pyongyang state media reported Kim Jong Un recognized his nuclear scientists for their achievements, calling them "nuclear warriors."

"You were able to instill a terrible fear among the top powers of the United States," Kim Jong Un said, according to Yonhap.

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