Nations at North Korea meeting commit to considering more sanctions

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland and Secretary of State of the United States, Rex Tillerson address a news conference following a meeting on the Security and Stability on the Korean Peninsula in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Tuesday. (AP)
Updated 17 January 2018
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Nations at North Korea meeting commit to considering more sanctions

VANCOUVER: A 20-nation meeting on North Korea agreed on Tuesday to consider imposing unilateral sanctions on Pyongyang that go beyond those required by UN Security Council resolutions, the United States and Canada said in a joint statement.
The meeting, to discuss North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, also agreed to support dialogue between the two Koreas “in hopes that it leads to sustained easing of tensions,” the statement added.
The United States and Canada co-hosted the day-long meeting in Vancouver to discuss ways of forcing North Korea to give up its nuclear arms.
The statement said participants “agree to consider and take steps to impose unilateral sanctions and further diplomatic actions that go beyond those required by UN Security Council resolutions.” It gave no details.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has refused to give up development of nuclear missiles capable of hitting the United States in spite of increasingly severe UN sanctions, raising fears of a new war on the Korean peninsula.
The Vancouver meeting also committed to ensuring that sanctions already in place were fully implemented.
Earlier on Tuesday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said all countries needed to work together to improve interdiction of ships attempting to skirt the sanctions and said there must be “new consequences” for North Korea “whenever new aggression occurs.”

North and South Korea held formal talks for the first time in two years this month and Pyongyang said it would send athletes to the Olympics.
South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said in Vancouver she hoped the dialogue would continue well beyond the Olympics, but stressed that existing sanctions must be applied more rigorously.
“These two tools — tough sanctions and pressure on the one hand, and the offer of a different, brighter future on the other — (have) worked hand in hand,” she said.


Philippine troops clash with remnants of defeated extremist group

Updated 26 min 26 sec ago
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Philippine troops clash with remnants of defeated extremist group

  • The military was targetting Abu Dar, who the government believes is the new “emir” of Daesh in Southeast Asia
  • Daesh-inspired militants seized parts of the southern city of Marawi in May 2017, raising concerns about the influence of the extremist group in Southeast Asia

MANILA: Philippine troops have clashed with remnants of a pro-Daesh group that held a southern city for five months last year, the army said on Monday.
Col. Romeo Brawner, the deputy commander of Joint Task Force Marawi, said security forces conducted air and ground assaults in the province of Lanao del Sur on Sunday in a bid to flush out Maute rebels and the group’s new leader.
Brawner said he could not confirm if there had been any casualties in military operations in two towns near Marawi City, which is now undergoing rehabilitation with some residents returning to their homes.
The military was targetting Abu Dar, who the government believes is the new “emir” of Daesh in Southeast Asia, Brawner said. It could not be independently verified if the Daesh has chosen Dar as its new leader in the region.
Daesh-inspired militants seized parts of the southern city of Marawi in May 2017, raising concerns about the influence of the extremist group in Southeast Asia.
The army ended combat operations after wresting control in southern Marawi in October, and has shifted its focus to the island’s marshes where other pro-Daesh militants operate.
The siege of Marawi, the country’s biggest battle since World War Two, displaced some 350,000 residents and more than 1,100 people were killed, mostly militants.
Military and security experts have said militants who escaped from Marawi are recruiting fighters using looted cash, gold and jewelry worth tens of millions of dollars.