South Korea welcomes new UNSC sanctions on North

Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand Perigord

The U.N. Security Council's new restrictions could further bite into North Korea's meager economy after what Kim Jong Un's authoritarian government says was a hydrogen bomb test September 3.

But China, which sends crude oil to its smaller neighbor through a pipeline, stopped disclosing the amount it ships more than three years ago.

Pressure builds on North following latest nuclear test after UN Security Council unanimously backs new measures. He focused in particular on how it masks exports of coal that were banned in August after the North tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles.

But the North Korean envoy also said: "Instead of making [the] right choice with rational analysis. the Washington regime finally opted for political, economic and military confrontation, obsessed with the wild dream of reversing the DPRK's development of nuclear force - which has already reached the completion phase".

This was the product of negotiations with China, the key player here and North Korea's main trading partner, as well as with Russian Federation and the other Security Council members.

Committee members expressed frustration that previous sanctions had not deterred Pyongyang.

A U.S. broadcaster reported on Tuesday that oil prices in the North are soaring amid expectations of fresh tough sanctions over the isolated regime's latest nuclear test.

Briefing the USA lawmakers, Treasury Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing Marshall Billingslea displayed satellite photos to demonstrate North Korea's deceptive shipping practices. The textile export ban alone would cost North Korea about $726 million a year, the USA said. "Attacks on cryptocurrency exchanges can be a great vehicle to obtain what is ultimately hard currency".

"The success of the pressure strategy will depend on cooperation from global partners, especially Beijing", said Susan Thornton, America's top diplomat for East Asia.

Those tools include more sanctions.

Billingsea described the action as "a very clear warning shot that the Chinese understood".

"The one factor working in favor of these sanctions being implemented is that the Chinese and Russians have to be fearful that the USA will impose its own sanctions on Chinese and Russian companies", he said.

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

Those sanctions came less than a month after the Treasury Department targeted 10 entities and six individuals that did business with North Korea.

United States officials said the new sanctions-combined with earlier measures-would cut North Korean exports by 90%, pinching the regime's ability to get hard currency.

Rep. Eliot Engel, the committee's top-ranking Democrat, also supported the pressure campaign. The UN representatives of both countries on Monday reiterated what they called "the four nos": no regime change, regime collapse, accelerated reunification or military deployment north of the 38th parallel dividing the Korean Peninsula. "He talked about the response of the United States of 'fire and fury, '" said Democratic Rep. Gerald Connolly of Virginia. Are there any indications that the Trump administration is ready for some diplomacy on North Korea?

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