U.S. presses for UNSC vote on North Korea sanctions this Monday
12 September, 2017, 22:29 | Author: Jeff Stephens
North Korea's rapid progress toward developing a nuclear inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of targeting the US mainland is changing threat assessments and security calculations in the region and the world.
While public antipathy towards Koreans does not appear to have escalated in reaction to the North's latest nuclear test and missile launches, the community has been the target of abuse by Japanese nationalists after similar incidents in the past.
South Korea deployed four additional units of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system on Thursday after the North's latest nuclear test. However Pyongyang has ignored Seoul's offers of outreach and cooperation, including holding reunions of separated families. In 2013 Russia reopened a railway link with North Korea, from the Russian eastern border town of Khasan to Rajin, to export coal and import goods from South Korea and elsewhere. "Military action would certainly be an option".
"We have been clear in close consultation with the Americans that oil has to be included as an element of sanctions", South Korean foreign minister Kang Kyung-Wha told reporters.
The US will call for a vote on additional sanctions on North Korea at the UN Security Council next week, it said, as local media reported that South Korea's military was monitoring its neighbour to the north on Saturday for any actions marking an anniversary holiday.
A Security Council resolution needs nine votes in favor and no vetoes by permanent members Britain, the United States, France, Russia or China to pass.
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has lobbied this week for more stringent sanctions, after Pyongyang said Sunday it had tested a hydrogen bomb that could be loaded onto an intercontinental ballistic missile, drawing worldwide condemnation.
The resolution is created to accomplish six major goals: cap North Korea's oil imports, ban textile exports, end additional overseas laborer contracts, suppress smuggling efforts, stop joint ventures with other nations and sanction designated North Korean government entities, according to a United States official familiar with negotiations.
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Despite trying every conceivable approach to end the North Korean nuclear program, including sanctions, negotiations, military threats and isolation, none have worked - because Pyongyang is determined not to surrender its nuclear weapons and become vulnerable to regime change.
The North's Foreign Ministry spokesman said Washington was "going frantic" to manipulate the Security Council over Pyongyang's nuclear test, which it said was part of "legitimate self-defensive measures".
China is by far North Korea's biggest trading partner, accounting for 92 percent of two-way trade past year.
The lack of a comprehensive USA strategy to deal with the North Korean threat was sadly demonstrated by Trump's off-the-cuff bellicose statement, "North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States". The exercises aren't threatening North Korea in the way its nuclearization is threatening Asia and the United States.
While public support is growing in South Korea to match the North's nuclear capability, critics argue basing US nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula would validate the North's nuclear state status and end the global commitment to pressure Pyongyang to dismantle its nuclear program.
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The North says it needs nuclear arms to protect itself, but the USA has accused the country of "begging for war". It does however ban the pariah state from importing all natural gas liquids and condensates .
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