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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Saturday, September 23, 2017

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After fresh UN sanctions, North Korea issues more threats

New threats

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PYONGYANG, North Korea - After the UN slapped fresh sanctions on North Korea, following its sixth and most dangerous nuclear test - now North Korea has threatened the U.S. with the "greatest pain" it has ever suffered.

The UN sanctions are aimed at attempting to starve the country of fuel and income for its weapons programmes.

The U.S. had earlier vowed to apply further pressure if North Korea kept its "dangerous path,” but despite its continued attempts to accelerate its nuclear ambitions - the UN has now imposed measures, restricting oil imports and ban textile exports.

The measures were approved after North Korea’s latest nuclear test earlier this month. 

In response, Pyongyang's envoy to the UN accused Washington of opting for "political, economic and military confrontation.”

Han Tae Song, North Korea's ambassador to the UN, said he "categorically rejected" what he called an "illegal resolution.”

Addressing a UN conference in Geneva, he said, "The forthcoming measures by DPRK [the Democratic Republic of Korea] will make the US suffer the greatest pain it has ever experienced in its history. Instead of making [the] right choice with rational analysis... the Washington regime finally opted for political, economic and military confrontation, obsessed with the wild dream of reversing the DPRK's development of nuclear force - which has already reached the completion phase."

On Tuesday, the resolution was passed unanimously after North Korea's allies Russia and China agreed to softer sanctions than those proposed by the U.S.

According to reports, the initial text included a total ban on oil imports - however, some analysts had pointed out that such a move could be potentially destabilising for the regime.

The UN noted that the new sanctions include, limits on imports of crude oil and oil products. 

Currently, China, which is Pyongyang's main economic ally, supplies most of North Korea's crude oil.

The UN sanctions also include a ban on exports of textiles, which is Pyongyang's second-biggest export worth more than $700 million a year.

Further, it also bans new visas for North Korean overseas workers, which the U.S. estimates would eventually cut off $500 million of tax revenue per year.

Meanwhile, a proposed asset freeze and a travel ban on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un were dropped from the final list of sanctions.

After the vote, the U.S. ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, told the Security Council, "We don't take pleasure in further strengthening sanctions today. We are not looking for war. The North Korean regime has not yet passed the point of no return. If North Korea continues its dangerous path, we will continue with further pressure. The choice is theirs."

Further, on Tuesday, a South Korean presidential office spokesman said, “North Korea needs to realise that a reckless challenge against international peace will only bring about even stronger sanctions against them."

Since 2006, this was the ninth resolution that was unanimously adopted by the UN.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, China's foreign ministry said that North Korea had "ignored international opposition and once again conducted a nuclear test, severely violating UN Security Council resolutions.”

It further reiterated its call for a "peaceful resolution" instead of a military response and added, "China will never allow the peninsula to descend into war and chaos."

China believes that THAAD and its powerful radars are a security threat to China and neighbouring countries.

At the same time, China and Russia have warned the U.S. not to seek a North Korean regime change.

 

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