December 19, 2019 12:51
The U.S. will use a full-court press against North Korea from tougher sanctions to cyberattacks if the regime launches another intercontinental ballistic missile, a senior White House official said Tuesday.
Harry Kazianis at the U.S. Center for the National Interest quoted the official on Fox News as saying, "If North Korea does decide to test a fully operational ICBM in some sort of effort to test our resolve they won't like our reaction -- and we will respond."
"The prior maximum pressure campaign that was intensified during late 2017 would only get tougher," he added.
Asked about more sanctions, the official said sanctions "would be just the beginning." He added that U.S. President Donald Trump would "feel insulted" if North Korean leader Kim Jong-un "tried to not only make him look foolish but break a personal pledge that North Korea would halt these sorts of missile tests."
Kazianis suggested that Washington could ask the UN Security Council to tighten sanctions, wage an offensive campaign against North Korean cyber activities, and sanction Chinese and Russian banks that help Pyongyang launder money.
"The good news is," Kazianis wrote, "that the Trump administration is up to the challenge and is already gaming out potential reactions to ensure North Korea pays a price for its actions. At least for the moment, there is no talk of a 'bloody nose' strike or military option."
Meanwhile, Germany, the chair country of the UNSC Sanctions Committee on North Korea, has expressed opposition to a resolution submitted by China and Russia seeking to ease the sanctions the previous day.
A spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry told Radio Free Asia that UNSC resolutions make it mandatory for Pyongyang to scrap its ballistic missile program and all other programs for the development of weapons of mass destruction in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible way, and that has not happened.
The UN General Assembly on Wednesday passed a resolution condemning human rights abuses in the North. The resolution recommends that the UNSC punish those responsible for human rights violations, while pointing out that the human rights situation there has not improved at all.
Sixty-one countries including France, Germany, Japan, the U,K, and the U.S. co-sponsored the resolution. South Korea abstained.
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