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North Korea diplomats say attack on U.S. would be 'suicidal'

13 January 2018

In a statement, the White House said "the administration is pleased China is sharply reducing its trade with North Korea", and that it "supports the US -led global effort to apply maximum pressure to end the North's illicit programs, changes its behavior and moves toward denuclearization".

"It will only create divisions within the worldwide community and harm joint efforts to appropriately resolve the Korean peninsula nuclear issue", spokesman Lu Kang was quoted as telling reporters in Beijing on Wednesday according to CBC.

The United Nations began imposing sanctions on North Korea in 2006, but tougher measures were invoked in 2017 as tensions flared anew over the country's nuclear and missile programmes.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will participate in the meeting's welcome dinner on Monday, the State Department said.

The number of financial transactions between Canada and North Korea is extremely small because of those sanctions, which the federal government imposed in August 2011.

The meeting, co-hosted by the US, has an invitation list that does not include Russian and China. They include South Korea, Britain, the Philippines and Australia. Western governments have accused both Russian Federation and China of exporting oil into North Korea, against United Nations sanctions.

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"These officials feared that the US was already trying to shape the battlefield for a military operation against the North, and that South Koreans do not seem to have grasped the reality that the Trump administration is set on a course for preventive war", Vorontsov wrote.

South Korea on Friday proposed working-level talks with the North on the latter's participation in the Winter Olympics set for next month, according to the South's Unification Ministry.

The ministers will discuss steps to thwart North Korea's evasion of sanctions, including through maritime interdiction, State Department Director of Policy Planning Brian Hook said in a press briefing.

To that end, North Korea has initiated talks to negotiate its entry into the upcoming Olympic Games in South Korea.

"Like the worldwide community, we hope that the United States and North Korea will take the opposite direction and take meaningful steps towards dialogue and engagement", he added.

"We understand that it would be the last day of our country'".

North Korea diplomats say attack on U.S. would be 'suicidal'