Sunday, 19 November, 2017

US Strong-Arms China Into Playing Ball On North Korea

US formally requests UN vote on N. Korea US calls Monday vote on new North Korea sanctions
Sammy Stanley | 13 September, 2017, 02:31

The Security Council unanimously slapped a ban on textile exports and restricted shipments of oil products to punish Pyongyang for its sixth and largest nuclear test.

Though the measures have been bashed as toothless by some because they fall short of a total oil embargo, the resolution nevertheless includes sweeping new restrictions on key resources and industries for Pyongyang.

The United Nations Security Council unanimously approved a resolution to impose new economic sanctions on North Korea for its nuclear weapons buildup, but the penalties were weaker than the Trump administration had sought.

"We think it's just another very small step - not a big deal", Trump said of the sanctions agreed Monday evening.

Asian shares gained on Tuesday as investors eyed events anew on the Korean peninsula for possible reaction by Pyongyang to fresh United Nations economic sanctions.

"North Korea should accept the strict warning from the worldwide community that continued provocations only deepen the diplomatic isolation and economic pressure", the ministry said.

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.

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. So for instance, while the US wanted a total oil embargo, this resolution calls for a cap on oil exports to North Korea, cutting it, Haley says, by about 30 percent. The ship then docked in Vladivostok, Russia, before finally going to China to presumably unload its cargo.

The reduction in oil sales to North Korea isn't expected to change Kim's calculus.

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

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

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

"The North Korean regime has not yet passed the point of no return", she added.

House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Ed Royce, (R., Calif.), said Washington needs to increase the number of companies and individuals targeted by Treasury under the North Korean sanctions regime.

Lawmakers who spoke Tuesday supported the US pressure tactics, while voicing skepticism that North Korea could be forced into abandon nuclear weapons it regards as a guarantee of survival for the Kim dynasty.

Rep. Eliot Engel, the committee's top-ranking Democrat, also supported the pressure campaign. "Unfortunately, I can not 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".

Playing on Trump's "fire and fury" threat of a month ago, Democratic Rep. Gerald Connolly said Trump's policy looks more like "fecklessness and failure".

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