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JH Ahn was an NK News contributor based in Seoul. He previously worked as an interpreter for United States Forces Korea.
Seoul is in talks with the U.S. over the possibility of secondary sanctions against Pyongyang, South Korea’s Minister of Foreign Affairs said on Monday in reports carried by multiple South Korean outlets.
“We are discussing the secondary (boycott) option with the U.S. counterparts,” said Kang Kyung-wha, in response to a question on Seoul’s options for increasing pressure on Pyongyang at a meeting with the National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee.
“I do believe that (Washington) is engaging negotiations on the UN Security Council Sanctions with the intention to imply the maximum pressure (against Pyongyang); either that be the UNSC Sanctions or the general sanctions,” Kang said.
Should the result of negotiations at the UNSC not turn out satisfactory for Washington, Kang said, she believes that the U.S. may give positive consideration to the imposition of more unilateral sanctions against the North.
Seoul would “closely cooperate with” these measures, she added.
North Korea’s test of an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) last week has drawn international condemnation, although Seoul’s Ministry of Unification (MOU) has insisted the move will not dramatically change South Korean policy.
The United States is expected to submit a new resolution in response to the test in the coming days, and a contentious emergency meeting of the UNSC last week showed the significant differences between major powers on how best to respond to North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.
The United States in late June unveiled sanctions on a Chinese shipping company and two Chinese nationals, as well as proposing the exclusion of a Chinese bank from the U.S. financial system.
China reacted strongly to the move, with a foreign ministry spokesperson urging the U.S. to “correct the errors immediately”, warning that they would negatively affect cooperation between Washington DC and Beijing on the North Korean issue.
Edited by Oliver Hotham
Featured image: MOFA Facebook page