UN Security Council steps up sanctions on North Korea

Jerome Frank
September 14, 2017

"They give us a much better chance to halt the regime's ability to fuel and finance its nuclear and missile programs, but we all know these steps only work if all nations implement them completely and aggressively".

The foreign ministry painted the new sanctions push as an attempt by Washington to "obliterate" its sovereignty.

Russia's influence in North Korea isn't exactly new as the country has always supported the secretive state in some capacity. That is diplomatic code to engage in negotiations.

The speech delivered by Ambassador Nikki Haley calling for sanctions also suggested this is the end of American patience with North Korea and the worldwide sanctions process.

Previous U.N. sanctions resolutions have been negotiated between the United States and China — North Korea's main trading partner and ally — and have taken weeks, and in some cases months, to finalize.

China and Russian Federation have called for a resolution that focuses on a political solution and proposed a freeze-for-freeze that would halt North Korean nuclear and missile tests in exchange for the USA and South Korea stopping their joint military exercises.

It no longer proposes blacklisting Kim and relaxes sanctions earlier proposed on oil and gas, a draft reviewed by Reuters shows.

The resolution imposes a ban on condensates and natural gas liquids, a cap of 2 million barrels a year on refined petroleum products, and a cap on crude oil exports to North Korea at current levels.

Mnuchin told a conference broadcast on CNBC that China agreed to "historic" sanctions on North Korea on Monday in a UN Security Council vote. This resolution calls on countries to inspect ships if there are reasonable grounds for a search and only with consent.

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The bomb used in the test appears to be a slight variation of the warhead North Korea presented just hours before its shocking nuclear test. But FireEye points out that hackers can swap them into other, more anonymous cryptocurrencies - or move them elsewhere and eventually withdraw them in traditional currencies like South Korean won or US dollars.

It bars countries from issuing new work permits to North Korean labourers sent overseas and seeks to phase out the practice by asking countries to report on the date for ending existing contracts.

North Korean President Kim Jong Un thanked the scientists and technicians who took part in the regime's successful detonation of a nuclear device last week by holding a large gala in their honor, according to a report.

"If we put firm pressure on North Korea such that it realises it cannot develop missiles, it will accept dialogue and we can progress with diplomatic efforts", Onodera told public broadcaster NHK on Sunday. Almost 80 per cent went to China.

The United had originally pushed for a strict oil embargo, as well as a freeze on the assets of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. At the same time, however, Chinese exports of diesel to North Korea increased from 367 tons in June to 1,162 tons in July.

"The forthcoming measures to be taken by the DPRK will cause the United States the greatest pain and suffering it had ever gone through in its entire history", the ministry said. The new draft targets would add only one person to the sanctions list - Pak Yong Sik, a member of the Workers' Party of Korea Central Military Commission, which controls the country's military and helps direct its military industries.

The United Nations has previously accused Air Koryo of being involved in the smuggling of banned goods.

Washington has dangled the prospect of military action in the North, and threatened to cut economic ties with countries that continue to trade with the it - around 90 percent of the North's external commerce is with China.

Professor Joseph DeThomas of Pennsylvania State University, a former USA ambassador and State Department official who dealt with North Korea, told The Associated Press on Friday that the US demand for quick council action was "an indicator of how the administration thinks time has run out".

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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