USA softens North Korea resolution ahead of United Nations vote

USA softens North Korea resolution ahead of United Nations vote

The United States has called on the United Nations Security Council to vote on Monday on a draft resolution for imposing new sanctions against North Korea that would include freezing the assets of leader Kim Jong Un over its sixth and powerful nuclear test.

It would ban North Korea from importing all natural gas liquids and condensates.

According to North Korea, the USA "is trying to use Pyongyang's legitimate self-defensive measures as an excuse to strangle and completely suffocate it".

South Korea's military said Sunday that North Korea is believed to have conducted its sixth nuclear test after it detected a strong quake, hours after Pyongyang claimed that its leader has inspected a hydrogen bomb meant for a new intercontinental ballistic missile. Almost 80 percent of the textile exports went to China.

North Korean textile exports in 2016 totalled 752.5 million U.S. dollars, accounting for about one-fourth of its total 3 billion dollars in merchandise exports, according to South Korean government figures.

A USA -drafted resolution originally calling for an oil embargo on the North, a halt to its key exports of textiles and subjecting leader Kim Jong Un to a financial and travel ban have been weakened, apparently to placate Russian Federation and China which both have veto powers, diplomats said.

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The original USA draft would also have frozen the assets of North Korea's state-owned airline Air Koryo, the Korean People's Army, and five other powerful military and party entities.

"In case the U.S. eventually does rig up the illegal and unlawful "resolution" on harsher sanctions, North Korea shall make absolutely sure that the United States pays due price", the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement released by the Korean Central News Agency. It said the USA would pay a heavy price if the sanctions proposed by Washington are adopted.

Mr Rycroft called the resolution "very robust" and "a very significant set of additional sanctions on imports into North Korea and exports out of North Korea and other measures as well".

She said she thought the only way to deal with North Korea's nuclear program was to come to a diplomatic solution, adding: "A new arms race starting in the region would not be in anyone's interests".

The Security Council last month imposed new sanctions over North Korea's two long-range missile launches in July.

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