N. Korean leader calls for strengthening party cells

N. Korean leader calls for strengthening party cells”

The Defence Secretary James Mattis said the launch went higher than any previous test and accused North Korea of building "ballistic missiles that threaten everywhere in the world".

The three-day Conference of WPK's Cell Chairpersons in Pyongyang, which kicked off on Saturday, is held amid heightened tensions over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs and strengthening of worldwide sanctions, including by the UN Security Council. The resolution seeks to ban almost 90 percent of refined petroleum exports to North Korea by capping them at 500,000 barrels a year.

"The likeliest impact on the deeper cuts in petroleum products will be on sectors nonessential to the survival of the regime", Paul Musgrave, assistant professor at the University of MA at Amherst, Live Mint reported. Tillerson and U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley have praised nations such as Mexico and Peru for expelling North Korean envoys, as well as allies like Kuwait for agreeing to cut back on their use of North Korean workers.

The resolution's passage is a political victory for the President Donald Trump's administration, which has spent much of 2017 urging other nations to ratchet up the pressure on North Korea.

Kim said his country is facing grave challenges that should not be overlooked as the global community has been stepping up its sanctions. The sanctions may create further resentment in the country against the Trump administration, according to Hong Kang-chel, a former North Korean border guard who defected in 2013. They seek to limit the country's access to refined petroleum products and crude oil and its earnings from workers overseas.

The December sanctions include cutting down North Korea's petroleum imports to 500,000 barrels per year. The new resolution would also cap crude imports at current levels of about 4 million barrels annually.

"Nobody can deny the entity of North Korea which rapidly emerged as a strategic state capable of posing a substantial nuclear threat to the US", Kim said. "So this resolution closes the loopholes in the system and requires countries to seize and impound ships caught smuggling illicit goods". Chinese state media have said the tougher resolution is aimed at preventing war, noting the USA had compromised - adding that there was no sign the United Nations would grant the U.S. permission for military action. "But enforcement seems hard".

"By next spring I suspect there will be calls for lifting the sanctions to help prevent a fall in food supply", Brown said.

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