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New North Korea sanctions to focus on country's oil imports

It was the eighth series of sanctions imposed on North Korea since it first tested a nuclear device in 2006. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is certainly keeping the door open to diplomacy, but he's focused on this sanctions track for now - the pressure side - so that if talks eventually get going, the USA will go into it with some more leverage. He added that "it is important to put an unprecedented level of pressure on North Korea to make it change its policies". With worldwide trade with North Korea increasingly constrained by United Nations sanctions, Russian entrepreneurs are seizing opportunities to make a quick profit, setting up a maze of front companies to hide transactions and launder payments, according to USA law enforcement officials who monitor sanction-busting activity.

MCEVERS: Was it surprising that the USA backed off in this way?

A man watches a TV news program reporting North Korea's possible nuclear test on a public screen showing an image of North Korean leader Kim Jong UN, displayed in Tokyo, September 3, 2017.

The hydrogen bomb test reportedly produced an explosion almost 10 times larger than the blast from the Hiroshima bomb in 1945. Kim Hyun-bin, Arirang News.

Monday's statement said North Korea developed the thermonuclear weapon to deter the United States' "ever-increasing hostile moves" and "defuse the danger of nuclear war looming over the Korean peninsula and the region".

Beijing and Moscow have called for a resolution that focuses on a political solution and proposed a freeze-for-freeze that would halt North Korean nuclear and missile tests in exchange for the US and South Korea stopping their joint military exercises. It said the United States would pay a heavy price if the sanctions proposed by Washington are adopted. In addition, it cited North Korea's collaboration with Angola, Uganda, and other African nations to train their police and military forces.

"We don't worry very much", said another shop worker, Ri Jong Ok.

"The proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, as well as their means of delivery, constitutes a threat to global peace and security", the Council said in a statement. It is still unclear how far along the road to a hydrogen bomb the country has gone.

The new draft moderates the toughest parts of the original proposal, with a potentially crippling oil embargo on North Korea to be introduced progressively, diplomats said.

The UN sanctions passed against North Korea on Monday bans textile exports and restricts shipments of oil products to Pyongyang.

French President Emmanuel Macron spoke on the phone with US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday to discuss the possibility of new sanctions.

"Today we are saying the world will never accept a nuclear armed North Korea", U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley told the council after the vote. A presidential spokesman in South Korea said he thinks it's significant that China and Russian Federation agreed on the measure. He cited Trumps warning last month of “fire and fury” against the North if it makes more threats, and his “shaming” of allies through tweets, which he said undermined USA credibility.



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