North Korea sanctions 'not a big deal'

North Korea sanctions 'not a big deal'

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce urged Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis last week to step up the imposition of USA sanctions on Chinese entities that help enable North Korea's illicit activities, according to a column carried in the Monday edition of The Washington Post.

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

McCain was also fond of the idea, saying that the U.S. needed to further encircle the North by expanding its military presence in the region.

THE NORTH Korean regime has yet again threatened the United States saying it will make the country suffer "the greatest pain it ever experienced in its history", after the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution to impose tougher sanctions on the rogue state.

The resolution, passed after Washington toned down its original proposals to secure backing from China and Russian Federation, came just one month after the council banned exports of coal, lead and seafood in response to North Korea's launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

In Dandong, tonnes of North Korean seafood are being smuggled into China every night despite the imposition of United Nations sanctions on August 15 and a resulting Chinese crackdown on the trade. The Post reports a "web of shell companies" engaged in contraband trade with the North Korean regime.

"Russia is now a player in this realm", said Anthony Ruggiero, now a fellow with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies Washington think tank.

Arsene Wenger defends Arsenal star after 'fat' accusations
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Meanwhile, Chinese Ambassador to the UN Liu Jieyi said Beijing hopes the United States would not seek regime change for North Korea or measures that would ensure the regime's collapse.

During tough negotiations, the United States dropped initial demands for a full oil embargo and a freeze on the foreign assets of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. On 4 July, North Korea claimed it carried out its first successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

"The textile export ban in particular, combined with previous bans on coal, mineral, and seafood [exports], will have the effect of blocking over 90% of North Korea's export volumes", Lee said.

Both Russia and China reiterated their proposal that the US and South Korea freeze all military drills - which anger North Korea - and asked for a halt in the deployment of the controversial anti-missile system Thaad, in exchange for Pyongyang's cessation of its weapons programmes.

Peru on Monday ordered North Korea's ambassador to leave the country within five days because of Pyongyang's nuclear tests in defiance of the global community. Trump has vowed not to allow North Korea to develop a nuclear missile capable of hitting the mainland United States.

The US has called the proposal insulting.

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