United Nations set for vote on new, albeit softened North Korea sanctions


The US has circulated a draft resolution that would, aside from barring crude oil shipments to North Korea, ban the nation's exports of textiles and employment of its guest workers by other countries, according to a diplomat at the world body.

Celebrations were held in Pyongyang on Saturday to mark the success of the test and the 69th anniversary of the founding of North Korea where Kim Jong-Un said the nuclear test was a "great victory won by the Korean people at the cost of their blood", Efe reported.

"If the global community remains united and resolute, we can deter North Korea from its course".

In addition, according to figures from the International Trade Centre, a joint World Trade Organisation-United Nations agency, the North imported $115 million-worth of refined oil products - which could include petrol and aircraft fuel - from China past year. It will ban all textile exports, taking hundreds of million dollars from the export revenues that the North Korean regime uses to fund its illegal nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's defiance is creating divides among the five veto-holding members of the UN Security Council. Merkel said that she backed sanctions as a means of bringing North Korea to the negotiating table.

Original wording, including the imposition of an oil embargo on the isolated state and a travel ban on leader Kim Jong-un, has been watered down to appease fellow Security Council members China and Russian Federation, according to diplomats.

Washington has dangled the prospect of military action in the North, and threatened to cut economic ties with countries that continue to trade with the it - around 90% of the North's external commerce is with China.

Nonetheless, US Ambassador Nikki Haley told the council after the vote that "these are by far the strongest measures ever imposed on North Korea".

The U.N. move was triggered by the North's sixth and largest nuclear test this month.

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State Department and Treasury Department officials are testifying to the House Foreign Affairs Committee about the pressure campaign against North Korea's weapons development.

"This is a compromise in order to get everybody on board", French U.N. Ambassador Francois Delattre said of the draft. China is now the main supplier of North Korea's crude oil.

He also opposed the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THADD) anti-missile system by the USA in South Korea asserting that it undermined the security of China and other countries in the region.

The Central Committee and the Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party of Korea hosted a feast to mark the North's sixth and the most powerful test conducted last week, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

"However, these banks' US presence is the very thing that makes these sanctions so powerful".

MCEVERS: And a diplomatic solution of course does require some diplomacy, not just sanctions.

The US mission to the United Nations put out a statement saying the sanctions were the strongest ever imposed on North Korea.

During his travels overseas, US President Donald Trump met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for talks which included how to deal with North Korea.