Aug 232017

WASHINGTON DC: The United States on Tuesday imposed new North Korea-related sanctions, targeting Chinese and Russian firms and individuals for supporting Pyongyang’s weapons programs, but stopped short of an anticipated focus on Chinese banks. The US Treasury designated six Chinese-owned entities, one Russian, one North Korean and two based in Singapore. They included a Namibia-based subsidiary of a Chinese company and a North Korean entity operating in Namibia. The sanctions also targeted six individuals – four Russians, one Chinese and one North Korean. North Korea calls Trump a ‘psychopath’  The move follows toughened United Nations sanctions agreed this month after North Korea tested its first two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July. China reacted with irritation, saying Washington should “immediately correct its mistake” of imposing unilateral sanctions on Chinese companies and individuals to avoid damaging bilateral cooperation. The Russian embassy did not respond to a request for comment. The US Treasury Department said the new sanctions targeted those helping already-designated individuals supporting North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs and its energy trade. They included three Chinese coal importers. The steps also targeted those helping North Korea send workers abroad and enabling sanctioned North Korea entities to get access to the US and international financial system. “Treasury will continue to increase pressure on North Korea by targeting those who support the advancement of nuclear and ballistic missile programs, and isolating them from the American financial system,” Treasury Secretary Steven T Mnuchin said in a statement. “It is unacceptable for individuals and companies [Read More…]

Aug 212017
A critical time

North Korea and the US have had a fragile relationship for so long. However, in recent times the tensions between the two countries have escalated. This has posed a serious threat to millions of people. In addition, US President Donald Trump’s regular belligerent statements and North Korea’s missile tests have further deteriorated the situation. The UN sanction on North Korea has added fuel to the fire. Having a defence budget of $7.5 billion and an army of seven million active troops, North Korea has become one of the most powerful countries of the world. This powerful country also has an arsenal of nukes. Millions of people around the country are closely watching the repercussions of the cold war between the two countries. A hasty decision from either of the sides can start a major war that would devour the entire world. The memories of deaths and barbarism during World War II and the subsequent poverty and miseries are still fresh in the minds of the people. World War II was the darkest chapter in human history. Instead of sending witty and provocative replies, the US president should act wisely. A great deal can be achieved through diplomacy and dialogue. At this critical time, influential states, especially China, can play a major role in mitigating the tensions between the two states before the world has its imminent tryst with a war. Jamshed Ali Jokhio (Hyderabad) Click for detailed story

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