Korea conducts cruise missile drill amid N. Korea threats

Ivan Schwartz
September 13, 2017

Smuggling will continue, with Iran a likely candidate for supplying some oil to North Korea and receiving missile parts and other nuclear-related equipment in exchange for hard currency.

US President Donald Trump played down the new United Nations sanctions against North Korea on Tuesday, saying they are "just another very small step" and "not a big deal". The U.S. needs the support of both of its geopolitical rivals for its current strategy of using economic pressure and diplomacy - and not military options - for getting North Korea to halt its testing of nuclear bombs and the missiles for delivering them.

In one example, a North Korean ship registered in St. Kitts and Nevis was said to have sailed from China to North Korea, turning off its transponder to hide its location as it loaded coal.

Billingslea focused in particular on how the North masks exports of coal that were banned in August after it tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles.

The United States had originally sought to ban the export to North Korea of all crude oil and refined petroleum products.

Analysts said a full oil embargo on Pyongyang could destabilise the country. North Korea is not frightened by words. "The president has called on them to do more, and we continue to hope that they will", she said.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned China, North Korea's main ally and trading partner, that Washington would "put additional sanctions on them and prevent them from accessing the US and worldwide dollar system" if it did not follow through on the new measures.

American treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin warned China, North Korea's main ally and trading partner, that if it did not follow through on the new measures, Washington would "put additional sanctions on them and prevent them from accessing the United States and global dollar system".

"My delegation condemns in the strongest terms and categorically rejects the latest illegal and unlawful U.N. Security Council resolution", North Korean Ambassador Han Tae Song told the U.N. -sponsored Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, according to Reuters.

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China accounts for roughly 90 percent of North Korean trade, and for years, China has helped North Korea skirt global sanctions. The United States has called for a vote Monday, New York time , on new U.N. sanctions against North Korea.

Guterres welcomed the council's "firm action" to send a clear message to North Korea that it must comply with its worldwide obligations, United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

The UN resolution calls on countries to inspect vessels at sea, with the consent of the flag state, if they have reasonable grounds to believe ships are carrying prohibited cargo to North Korea.

Kim Hyun-Wook of Seoul's Korea National Diplomatic Academy, predicted: "The sanctions will only provide North Korea with an excuse for further provocations, such as an ICBM launch". It bans all North Korean textile exports.

A person answering the customer hotline at the world´s largest lender, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd (ICBC), said the bank had stopped opening accounts for North Koreans and Iranians since July 16.

Ed Royce, chairman of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee, said on Tuesday at a hearing in Washington that the US government can "unilaterally" designate more Chinese banks and companies for a choice between doing business with North Korea or the US.

But Joseph DeThomas, a former State Department official who worked on Iran and North Korea sanctions, questioned whether the new steps would have a major impact.

This was also the first time the UNSC targeted the country's oil imports while sanctioning the regime.

North Korea remained defiant over new United Nations sanctions imposed for its latest nuclear test, vowing on Wednesday to redouble efforts to fight off what it said was the threat of a USA invasion.

The lawmakers aired their frustration as USA officials outlined ways in which China and Russian Federation are failing to do everything they can to rein in North Korea, even as the nuclear threat from the rogue regime grows more intense.

Other reports by GizPress

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