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South Korea links detected xenon to North's nuclear test

13 September, 2017, 14:38 | Author: Jeff Stephens
  • Timeline of North Korea's Weapons program

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.

Briefing the US lawmakers, Treasury Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing Marshall Billingslea displayed satellite photos to demonstrate North Korea's deceptive shipping practices. Although, the North Korean officials have warned the USA, saying "a very strong response, with unbearable consequences" will be faced by Washington, based on the increased pressure they are experiencing from US' side.

"There's definitely a threat that was not there a year ago", Dr. Mariano Bertucci, a professor in the political science department, said.

North Korea says its weapons development is vital to stave off the threat of a USA invasion. In June, the USA designated the Bank of Dandong, a regional Chinese bank, a "primary money-laundering concern" over allegations it helped North Korea access the US and worldwide financial systems.

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

As a result, the respected USA website 38 North, which is linked to Johns Hopkins University, said it was raising its estimate for the yield of the blast to "roughly 250 kilotons".

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Trump's remarks came just hours after House lawmakers from both parties expressed frustration that the U.S. isn't exerting greater pressure on China to stop North Korea's march toward developing nuclear weapons capable of striking the continental United States.

Peru's decision to expel Kim followed a similar move by Mexico last week and a public call from the United States last month for Latin American countries to sever ties with North Korea.

But such measures did little to change North Korea's behavior.

At the hearing, United States officials released intelligence findings that they said showed how North Korea earns income from smuggling coal and other commodities to Russian Federation and China.

Textiles were North Korea's second-biggest export after coal and other minerals in 2016, totalling $752 million, according to data from the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency. "If North Korea continues its risky path, we will continue with further pressure".

Russian Federation and China being permanent members of the UNSC had veto powers and they seemed sceptical over the initial sanctions proposal, but after Monday's vote, China expressed their support.

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The committee chairman, Republican Rep. Ed Royce of California, said he agreed with Sherman and urged more sanctions against Chinese banks that do business with North Korea.

On August 5, the U.S. drafted a UN resolution that embargoed all imports of North Korean coal, iron, lead and seafood and required nations to cap employment of DPRK workers. This summer, the US targeted two Russian companies with penalties for supporting North Korean missile procurement.

"Today we are saying the world will never accept a nuclear armed North Korea", she said.

DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, North Korea's official name.

The EU is reportedly mulling deporting North Korean workers in Europe to block the North's income source for its nuclear program.

"Unfortunately, the DPRK does not cease to constantly violate the Security Council resolutions, which inevitably leads to even bigger consequences for the country and its leadership", Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan in the UN Kairat Umarov said.

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"Our military, together with our allies, remains prepared to respond immediately and resolutely to any attack or threat of attack", Thornton said. However, at that time it wasn't clear whether the xenon level was linked to the North's test.



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