U.S. Rejects Relief for North Korea as Trump Warns Against Tests

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It also said the draft calls for a halt to repatriation of North Korean workers that a United Nations sanction resolution urges world governments to complete by December 22. The draft would also exempt inter-Korean rail and road cooperation projects from United Nations sanctions.

(They) are in a clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions. A resolution needs nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Russia or China to pass.

The "crucial test" was the latest in a string of developments aimed at deterring the USA nuclear threat, state news agency KCNA reported on Saturday.

A US State Department official said now was not the time for the Security Council to consider lifting sanctions on North Korea as the country is "threatening to conduct an escalated provocation, refusing to meet to discuss denuclearisation, and continuing to maintain and advance its prohibited weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programmes".

"The priceless data, experience and new technologies gained in the recent tests of defense science research will be fully applied to the development of another strategic weapon of the DPRK for definitely and reliably restraining and overpowering the nuclear threat of the USA", he said, using the initials of North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The U.S. knocked back a call to ease sanctions on North Korea despite threats of further provocations, as President Donald Trump said he would "take care of" any threats the regime had in the works.

"We're watching it very closely", Mr Trump said at the White House.

Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have met three times since June 2018, but no progress toward a deal has been made and Kim has given Trump until the end of 2019 to show flexibility. "This naturally indicates that Trump is an old man bereft of patiences" North Korea's former top nuclear envoy who now serves as Chairman of the Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee said in a statement on Korean Central News Agency earlier this month.

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The stark arguments in the defector's letter led one North Korea analyst to assert that "we need a better class of dictator in North Korea to agree to what we mean by denuclearization".

Last Wednesday, Biegun visited NY to meet with members of the UN Security Council, who had convened a session to discuss North Korean nonproliferation.

But talks have stalled and Kim has given Trump until the end of the year to make concessions.

Experts have raised concerns the regime will test-launch an intercontinental ballistic missile, following two presumed rocket engine tests at the North's Sohae satellite launching facility on December 7 and 13.

China and Russian Federation, which had cautiously backed pressure against North Korea after its past nuclear tests, had indicated last week they would reject further sanctions. Such tests have put further pressure on the U.S.to try to break the deadlock in negotiations between the two countries after working-level talks collapsed in October in Stockholm.

"North Korea is close to issuing an ultimatum towards the United States to come to the negotiating table with new calculations or to return to developing nuclear weapons", Koh added.

Experts say North Korea could restart intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) testing suspended since 2017 - a move that would be seen as highly provocative in Washington.

The draft resolution also "calls for prompt resumption of the six-party talks or re-launch of multilateral consultations in any other similar format, with the goal of facilitating a peaceful and comprehensive solution through dialogue, reducing tensions on the Korean Peninsula and beyond, and promoting peaceful co-existence and mutually beneficial regional cooperation in North-East Asia".

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