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

N.Korea vows to boost weapons programmes after sanctions

N.Korea vows to boost weapons programmes after sanctions

According to the North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the North Korean foreign ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that it "categorically" rejects the United Nations sanctions aimed at "completely suffocating its state and people through a full-scale economic blockade".

"We think it's just another very small step - not a big deal", Trump said as he met with Malaysia's prime minister at the White House.

"I don't know if it has any impact, but certainly it was nice to get a 15-to-nothing vote, but those sanctions are nothing compared to what ultimately will have to happen".

The UN Security Council on Monday agreed to a set of new sanctions including banning textile exports from the country and capping imports of refined petroleum as a way to punish Pyongyang for conducting its sixth and most powerful nuclear test 3 September.

The new measures target major goods that North Korea buys and sells, but they don't go as far as the USA wanted.

State Department and Treasury Department officials are testifying to the House Foreign Affairs Committee about the pressure campaign against North Korea's weapons development.

The sanctions are less drastic than what was initially intended by the U.S., who also called for a ban on United Nations member countries selling gas, oil and refined petroleum products to North Korea.

Republican Rep. Ed Royce, the committee chairman, said USA and allied efforts should be "super-charged".

The UN Security Council has once again sent a message to the North Korean regime that the global community is one against Pyongyang's illegal weapons programs and using these to threaten the world.

United Nations says 313000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh
Myanmar denies Rohingya exist as an ethnic group and says those living in Rakhine are illegal migrants from Bangladesh. Aung San Suu Kyi's government has come in for strong global criticism over the military's treatment of the Rohingya.

While Pyongyang hasn't yet responded with another nuclear or missile test, it is still technically ready to conduct its seventh nuclear test at its Punggye-ri test site, according to South Korea's military.

Exports of refined oil to North Korea will be cut in about half, to 2 million barrels annually, according to a US diplomat involved in the talks. He cited Trump's warning last month of "fire and fury" against the North if it makes more threats, and his "shaming" of allies through tweets, which he said undermined USA credibility.

Pyongyang has staged a series of missile tests in recent months that appeared to bring much of the United States mainland into range, followed by the September 3 nuclear blast. Aside from that, they also put restrictions on North Korea's overseas working force, which is expected to cut them down to less $500 million of tax revenues every year.

North Korea commemorated the 69th anniversary of its founding on Saturday, holding large patriotic displays of dancing and devotion to the Kim family.

The United States and China "have two fundamentally different purposes", said Joseph Cirincione, president of the Ploughshares Fund, a San Francisco-based organization that promotes nuclear nonproliferation.

And while China accounts for 90% of North Korean exports, Billingslea said he "cannot assure the committee today that we have seen sufficient evidence of China's willingness to truly shut down North Korean revenue flows, expunge the North Korean illicit actors from its banking system, and expel the North Korean middlemen and brokers who are establishing webs of front companies".

A tougher initial USA draft was weakened to win the support of China and Russian Federation, both of which hold United Nations veto power.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in an interview with a German newspaper she would "immediately say yes" if Germany was asked to help end the crisis.

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