UN Security Council passes toughest-ever sanctions against North Korea

The early decades

The early decades

"We don't take pleasure in further strengthening sanctions today". The conservative opposition is expected to raise concerns about Seoul taking the back seat to regional powers when it comes to North Korean issues, along with its continued calls for dialogue with the North.

U.S. envoy to the UN Nikki Haley said "we are trying to prod North Korea to do the right thing", adding: "We are now acting to stop it from doing the wrong thing".

Britain and France - permanent veto-wielding Security Council members along with the US, China and Russian Federation - have given Washington their strong backing.

The resolution bars countries from issuing new permits to the roughly 93,000 North Korean labourers working overseas.

China is North Korea's biggest trading partner.

Jose strengthens into hurricane in Atlantic Ocean
Hurricane Jose is similar to Irma in that it's a Cape Verde hurricane, forming in the far eastern Atlantic , CNN is reporting . National Hurricane Center says that Tropical Storm Katia is starting to stall over Mexico's Sierra Madre mountains.

The Aug. 5 resolution adopted by the council capped the number of North Koreans working overseas at the current level.

Apart from the US, China, and Russian Federation, the sanctions have also been lauded by South Korea who said that these bans are a proof that Pyongyang's defiance will continue isolating it from other nations.

Instead, the ninth set of restrictive sanctions against Pyongyang, unanimously adopted by the 15-member UN Security Council, following North Korea's sixth nuclear test earlier his month, authorized a cap of 2 million barrels a year of sales of refined petroleum products to North Korea, Reuters reported.

"It's a red light for the growth of the North Korean economy", said Cheong Seong-Chang of Seoul's Sejong Institute, "but will not have huge impact on North Korea's military because the crude oil supply remains the same".

Pyongyang warned the United States on Monday that it would pay a "due price" for spearheading efforts on UN sanctions over its nuclear programme, which it said was part of "legitimate self-defensive measures".

Should we be anxious about Hurricane Jose?
That means Hurricane Irma's ultimate path and eventual decay could play an important role in determining where Jose ends up. Hurricane Jose is now travelling in a clockwise circle, but could go north later in the week.

Despite the watering down of the resolution, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said after the vote that "these are by far the strongest measures ever imposed on North Korea", which will "only work if all nations implement them completely and aggressively", according to the Associated Press.

Russia's exports of crude oil to North Korea are about 40,000 tonnes a year. Its foreign ministry spokesman responded vaguely when asked at a press briefing late last week about the likelihood of China supporting an oil embargo against its neighbor.

North Korea is suspected of intensifying cyber-attacks to steal virtual currency in order to obtain funds and avert tightening sanctions, according to security experts. This is likely to hit the funding of its nuclear programmes. Today, rival lawmakers are expected to clash over the government's response to North Korea's growing threats and provocations.

The explosion from the most recent nuclear test, the North's sixth, was considerably larger than previous tests and was felt by residents in Chinese cities hundreds of kilometres from the border. North Korea said its September 3 test was of an advanced hydrogen bomb and was its most powerful by far.

Hurricane Irma brings record floods as storm marches through southern US
At 03:00 GMT, the centre of the hurricane was about 50 miles (80km) south-east of the city of Tampa . The next major city to expect the hurricane is Naples, Florida , another popular vacation spot.

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