Trump says North Korea sanctions just the beginning

Pauline Gross
September 13, 2017

The U.N. resolution caps the amount of crude oil sold to North Korea each year at 4 million barrels.

The resolution does not include sanctions that the USA wanted on North Korea's national airline and the army.

Haley noted that the council was meeting on the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack.

China, North Korea's sole ally and main trading partner, has strongly objected to an oil embargo out of fear that it would bring the North's economy to its knees. "We are now acting to stop it from having the ability to continue doing the wrong thing", she said.

China's big banks have been quietly but surely weaning themselves off North Korean money.

It's just the latest example of the illicit ways North Korea allegedly brings in money as it endures wave after wave of increasingly tough worldwide sanctions over its rapidly advancing nuclear weapons program. "If it proves it can live in peace world will live in peace with it".

Moscow has long objected to USA missile shield plans, saying their real aim is to neutralize Russia's own nuclear arsenal, rather than meet the perceived threat from "rogue states".

USA ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said the resolution aimed to hit "North Korea's ability to fuel and fund its weapons program".

The question next becomes how North Korea will respond.

The textile ban is significant.

The resolution also bans all textile exports and prohibits all countries from authorizing new work permits for North Korean workers.

A recent report by a United Nations panel of experts also found flaws in the enforcement of existing sanctions.

Staff at branches in Beijing and the border city of Yanji - a major trade and transportation hub between the two neighbours - said their banks have banned North Koreans from opening new accounts and some have even started to close existing ones. If the North continues to develop its program, the US will have a case for war.

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First and foremost North Korea seeks survival in world politics like all other states do - and this point should be particularly emphasized to the US side as many there seem to hold the mistaken view that North Korea and Kim Jong-un is simply insane. The resolution adopted Monday adds 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.

Hackers tied to North Korea are also suspected of carrying out a series of attacks on global banks that came to light a year ago. But on Sunday the North warned that it would inflict the "greatest pain and suffering" on the United States, in the event of tougher global sanctions.

In reality, the Trump administration has relatively low expectations for the new sanctions, US officials say. For example, the US could call once again for a full oil embargo if Pyongyang holds another nuclear test or launches an intercontinental ballistic missile.

"The Chinese and Russians are only willing to accept sanctions with loopholes in them that allow China and Russia to dictate how strong they really are", said Anthony Ruggiero, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington.

"Make no mistake about it", he said, "our firmness today is our best antidote to the risk of war, to the risk of confrontation, and our firmness today is our best tool for a political solution tomorrow". China's cooperation is key to enforcing any sanctions.

The U.S. president has wavered between criticizing China for not doing enough on North Korea to heaping personal praise on the Chinese President Xi Jinping.

China's United Nations ambassador, Liu Jieyi, called for a resumption of negotiations "sooner rather than later".

Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun reported Tuesday Kim Jong Un is likely preparing a breach of computers that belong to the governments of Japan, the United States and South Korea.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said after the council vote that it was important to change North Korea's policy by imposing a higher level of pressure on the country than ever before.

"I think we should all share this sense of crisis, which is not necessarily shared by all the countries in the world".

Russian President Vladimir Putin recently expressed doubt over whether sanctions are an effective means of getting the North to stop its missile and nuclear testing, and China, harboring similar concerns, has repeatedly hesitated in the past to fully support USA sanction plans.

"That is why we have offered to be helpful in the search for new ways to de-escalate the situation", he said, hours before the U.N. Security Council was due to vote on a USA -drafted resolution that would impose new sanctions on Pyongyang. Kim Jong-un might be persuaded that the long term future of North Korea relies on economic reforms and development, which, at this stage, is only hindered by his nuclear ambitions.

Other reports by GizPress

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