Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Mnuchin: US mulling sanctions against China over North Korea

Mnuchin: US mulling sanctions against China over North Korea

The new resolution ends natural gas shipments to North Korea, caps crude oil shipments at their current levels, and puts a ceiling on refined oil products such as petrol and diesel.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley addresses Security Council session on North Korea, Sept. 11 2017, vote on increased sanctions, passes unanimously.

Foreign minister Boris Johnson told AFP there was a "wide measure of agreement" among his European Union counterparts to forge ahead with new measures against Kim Jong-Un's regime after it carried out its sixth nuclear test on Sunday, its most powerful to date.

This reconfirms that the two sides have converged on the idea of the "double freeze", by which North Korea would suspend its nuclear weapon and missile tests and South Korea and the United States would suspend their large-scale military exercises. "If it proves it can live in peace, the world will live in peace with it", she told the UN Security Council after the adoption of new sanctions.

Peru on Monday ordered North Korea's ambassador to leave the country within five days because of Pyongyang's nuclear tests in defiance of the worldwide community.

North Korea had said the latest test was an advanced hydrogen bomb.

Prior to the approval, Trump and the US treasury secretary threatened to impose unilateral sanctions against any country that trades with North Korea if the Security Council was unable to come to an agreement.

The United States originally proposed the Security Council impose an oil embargo, halt textile exports and impose a travel and financial ban on leader Kim Jong Un.

China has already come out against American calls for cutting its oil sales to North Korea, while the USA has rejected Beijing's insistence for the Trump administration to engage Pyongyang in diplomatic talks.

USA threats to make North Korea more determined: Pundit
North Korea was condemned globally for its latest nuclear test on September 3, which it said was of an advanced hydrogen bomb. China is by far North Korea's biggest trading partner, accounting for 92 percent of two-way trade previous year .

A ban on exports of textiles - Pyongyang's second biggest export and a significant source of income - and measures to prohibit North Koreans from working overseas will go ahead.

Organization and Guidance Department-directs key personnel appointments for the Workers' Party of Korea, the North Korean military, and the government's administration, controls the country's political affairs, and implements its censorship policies.

"It's a red light for the growth of the North Korean economy", said Cheong Seong-Chang of Seoul's Sejong Institute, "but will not have huge impact on North Korea's military because the crude oil supply remains the same". The new draft resolution initially imposed a complete ban on the hiring and payment of North Korean labourers overseas.

"We have been clear in close consultation with the Americans that oil has to be included as an element of sanctions", South Korean foreign minister Kang Kyung-Wha told reporters. In 2013 Russia reopened a railway link with North Korea, from the Russian eastern border town of Khasan to Rajin, to export coal and import goods from South Korea and elsewhere.

He also opposed the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THADD) anti-missile system by the USA in South Korea asserting that it undermined the security of China and other countries in the region. "I don't think the U.S. will compromise unless crude oil is included in some form", the senior official from the United Nations said.

North Korea is already under multiple United Nations sanctions but has still made rapid progress in its nuclear and missile programmes.

Liu said relevant parties should resume negotiations "sooner rather than later".

The resolution does add new language urging "further work to reduce tensions so as to advance the prospects for a comprehensive settlement".

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