United Nations expands sanctions against North Korea

In a tough speech after the vote, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said "the Security Council is sending a clear message to North Korea today: Stop firing ballistic missiles or face the consequences". "We will still be there, and we will be there with you".

"North Korea must understand that the worldwide community will never accept the regime's development and testing of nuclear weapons ..."

On Friday, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull addressed the dialogue and also took aim at China, warning a "coercive China would find its neighbours resenting [it]" over its expansion in the South China Sea.

The resolution condemns North Korea's nuclear and ballistic activities "in the strongest terms" and reaffirms the Security Council's demand that Pyongyang abandon all nuclear weapons and programs and halt all nuclear and missile tests.

"The Trump administration is encouraged by China's renewed commitment to work with the global community toward denuclearization", Mattis said.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula intensified in early 2016 when North Korea conducted a nuclear test and after that launched a ballistic missile carrying a satellite.

The draft would also freeze the assets of two trading companies, a bank and the Strategic Rocket Force of the Korean People's Army, which is in charge of all ballistic missile programs.

A US -drafted resolution circulated to the U.N. Security Council would add 15 North Korean individuals and four entities linked to the country's nuclear and missile programs to a U.N. sanctions blacklist.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has voiced support for the unanimous United Nations decision and called on North Korea to refrain from repeated nuclear tests and missile launches.

China's claims in the South China Sea, through which about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes each year, are contested by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Mr Mattis signalled the military aggression of the North Korean regime would be a central part of discussions in Australia, warning the "current situation can not continue". "I would like to know very clearly what are the true intentions of the new administration".

Jim Mattis' remarks come as China builds up a series of artificial islands on shoals and reefs in contested waters in the South China Sea.

In a sign of the U.S. commitment to the region, Mattis said that soon about 60 percent of overseas tactical aviation assets would be assigned to the region and he would work with the U.S. Congress on an Asia-Pacific stability initiative.

"Individual countries maintain their security through exclusive military alliances, base their security on other countries' insecurity and do not hesitate to stir up conflict and provoke trouble".

China claims nearly the whole of this strategic maritime space where, during the past few years, it has built facilities on artificial islands that could be of military use, leading to mounting tension in the region.

The defence chief spoke directly to concerns America might grant concessions to China to ensure cooperation on North Korea, saying the issue was not "binary" and that the United States would continue to pressure Beijing elsewhere.

"We can not and will not accept unilateral, coercive changes to the status quo", he added.

  • Joanne Flowers