North Korea slams new measure against Nuclear development

Cuba signaled support for North Korea in an escalating feud between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un over the country's nuclear weapons program and accusations of state-sponsored terrorism.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. had expressed its willingness to negotiate with North Korea but had yet to receive a response from the North. Standing front and center on the world stage, the American President called Kim Jong Un "Rocket Man", as well as a series of other slurs better suited for a speech by a middle school preteen running for class president.

In recent months, Trump has threatened North Korea with "total destruction" if it refuses to curb its nuclear missile program while simultaneously escalating tensions between the US and North Korea with bombastic name-calling. The sanctions specifically named four companies in Dandong that have been trading with North Korea despite United Nations sanctions that China's President Xi Jinping has said he fully supports. "But, it does not bring serious impacts to North Korea's economy".

Air China has cancelled flights between Beijing and Pyongyang due to low demand, closing one of the few routes into North Korea. The U.S. has maintained North Korea must cease its program before negotiations can begin.

China has been pushing what it calls a "freeze for freeze" agreement that would halt US and South Korean large-scale military drills in return for North Korea suspending its testing and nuclear program.

North Korea Blasts US Terrorism Blacklisting
North Koreans critical of US terror list decision

The latest US sanctions still leave open the question of how far Trump is willing to go to bring North Korea to the table.

Some North Korea analysts argue the state sponsor of terrorism designation and new sanctions could encourage a return to testing and belligerence from Pyongyang and discourage it from entering talks.

North Korea has yet to comment on the defection of a North Korean soldier who is being treated for gunshot wounds in South Korea after being shot by comrades during his escape.

"It has become nearly a cliché in policy circles to state that North Korea is a rational, strategic actor".

North Korea joins Iran, Sudan, and Syria - the only countries designated by the U.S.as state sponsors of terrorism.

  • Jon Douglas