22:50 GMT11 April 2021
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    The United States will not announce any new sanctions against North Korea over its continuing ballistic missile tests during Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's tour to Asia this week, State Department Acting Assistant Secretary Susan Thornton said in a press briefing on Monday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The announcement comes as Pyongyang said it will not stop efforts to improve its preemptive nuclear strike capability if the United States and its allies continue conducting military exercises near the North Korean border.

    "We continue to strictly implement the UN Security Council Resolutions and we call on our partners around the world to continue to actively implement those resolutions and to maintain the sanctions regime, we don't have anything new at the moment to announce," Thornton said.

    Department of State Acting Spokesperson Mark Toner said in a briefing on Monday that the United States recognizes there is a need for a new approach to dealing with North Korea.

    "There’s real concern with respect to North Korea and it’s behavior. We need to look at ways of how to deal with this challenge because thus far we’ve been unable to persuade them," Toner told reporters.

    He explained Pyongyang has not complied with sanctions or UN Security Council resolutions against its nuclear program, nor has leader Kim Jong-un been open to diplomatic approaches.

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will likely address the issue during his upcoming trip to China, Toner said.

    On March 6, North Korea launched four ballistic missiles, explaining a day later that the launches were a test of its ability to strike US military facilities located in Japan.

    Last year, North Korea carried out two nuclear tests and over two dozen of test launches using ballistic missile technology. Previously, the United Nations imposed sanctions on North Korea for three nuclear tests it carried out in 2006, 2009 and 2013.

    In late April, 2016, the 38 North monitoring website released commercial satellite imagery showing that North Korea was resuming excavation operations at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, with similar activity observed at the facility as that seen three days prior to the February 12, 2013 nuclear test.

    The UN Security Council has adopted a number of resolutions imposing restrictions on North Korea in order to make Pyongyang halt its nuclear and missile activities.

    North Korea declared itself a nuclear power in 2005. The United States, Japan and South Korea, as well as Russia and China, took part in talks with North Korea on the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula between 2003 and 2009, when Pyongyang withdrew from the talks.

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    Tags:
    sanctions, UN Security Council, Rex Tillerson, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), China, US
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