Editorial: Trump Threatens To Cut Ties With Pyongyang Trading Partners

On Sunday US President Donald Trump said he plans to stop “all trade” with countries doing business with Pyongyang, after the announcement of a new nuclear test by North Korea.

“The United States is exploring the possibility, in addition to other options, of ending all trade with any country doing business with North Korea,” he said in a tweet in which he does not directly cite China, recipient of some 90% of North Korean exports.

On Sunday President Trump warned that any appeasement policy was doomed to fail.

When asked by reporters if he was considering a military response, the American president replied, “We will see.”

The nuclear test, a new challenge for the international community, was “a perfect success,” North Korean public television announced.

The North Korean regime had published photos showing its leader Kim Jong-un inspecting what was being presented as a hydrogen bomb or a thermonuclear bomb that could be installed on the new intercontinental ballistic missile the North Korean regime is beloved to have.

It is theoretically capable of reaching the territory of the United States.

The president, who promised “fire and fury” if Pyongyang continued to utter threats against Washington and its allies, denounced “actions very hostile and dangerous for the United States.”

“South Korea sees, as I told them, that their appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing! “He said on Twitter to his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in, a proponent of a dialogue with the Kim Jong-un regime.

Seoul called for “the strongest punishment” including by UN sanctions after this trial.

On Sunday, Trump will meet with his national security team, the White House announced.

“Those who do business with them [North Korea] will not be able to do business with us,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned, adding that the United States intended to work with its allies and with China .

US Foreign Secretary Rex Tillerson said on Sunday that he would increase contacts with allied countries, the spokesman said.

The UN Security Council has already imposed seven trains of sanctions in the North to try to force it to abandon its banned programs.

China condemns latest test

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have also called for bilateral sanctions from the European Union in addition to those that could be decided at the UN.

As the main ally of Pyongyang, China has “vigorously condemned” the new provocation of Pyongyang. It has also undertaken nuclear radiation checks at its border with North Korea.

The international community also expected it to fear that North Korea would try again.

Experts believe that the military option against the Kim Jong-un regime is extremely risky, as it could cause a chain reaction and a serious regional conflict. And the sanctions policy has so far proved a failure.

Foreign geological agencies first detected a 6.3-magnitude earthquake near the main North Korean nuclear test site in Punggye-Ri in the northeast on Sunday.

The bomb “of unprecedented power” marks “a very important opportunity, achieving the ultimate goal of completing the state’s nuclear force,” said North Korean state television.

Threat to the United States

Pyongyang has never hidden the fact that its banned programs were aimed at developing intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear fire on the American continent.

North Korean state television broadcast a picture of the handwritten order of Kim Jong-un asking that the test be conducted on September 3 at noon.

Kim said that “all components of this H-bomb have been 100% nationally produced,” according to the North Korean official news agency KCNA.

According to South Korean experts, the power of the new shock was five to six times higher than the previous test of September 2016, with a power of 10 kilotons.

Whatever the power of the blast, Jeffrey Lewis of armscontrolwonk.com said it was a thermonuclear weapon, which is a notable step forward in North Korea’s banned nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

An earthquake of magnitude 4.6 also shook North Korea less than ten minutes after the first earthquake, said the Chinese Center for Seismological Surveillance. He put forward the hypothesis of “collapse”, which suggests that the deflagration may have caused a collapse of the rock above the explosion site.

This test will exacerbate already strong tensions on the peninsula.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) denounced the trial, “in complete disregard of the repeated demands of the international community.”

The UN Security Council has already imposed seven trains of sanctions in the North to try to force it to abandon its banned programs.

The United States also began to impose sanctions on Chinese and Russian entities, which have business dealings with North Korea. But the exercise is politically delicate vis-à-vis Peking.

The situation on the peninsula had already stretched in July when Pyongyang carried out two successful tests of an intercontinental ballistic missile or ICBM, the Hwasong-14, supposed to put the American territory within range of North Korean strikes.

Koo Kab-woo, a North Korea specialist at Seoul University, said, “North Korea will continue with its nuclear weapons program unless the United States offers talks.”

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Benjamin Diaz

About the Author: Benjamin Diaz

Benjamin Diaz started working for Debate Report in 2017. Ben grew up in a small town in northern Ontario. He studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married his wife a year later. Benhas been a proud Torontonian for the past 10 years. He covers politics and the economy. Previously he wrote for CTV News and the Huffington Post Canada.

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