North Korea Sanctions Will Cut Fuel Imports - But Not Oil

Kim Jong-un

Kim Jong-un

Victor Cha, Director for Asian affairs at the National Security Council from 2004 to 2007, now Director of Asian studies at Georgetown University, expressed a novel idea in a recent magazine article.

On Sept. 3, North Korea detonated what it claimed to be a hydrogen bomb that can fit on an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

In separate discussions with China, Washington officials are said to have made the case that if Beijing doesn't take stronger steps against North Korea, like cutting off oil, "South Korea and Japan are likely to pursue their own nuclear weapons programs and the US won't stop them".

Whatever final text was adopted, she hoped it would "have significant consequences in terms of greater economic pressure on North Korea".

On August 5, the USA drafted a UN resolution that embargoed all imports of North Korean coal, iron, lead and seafood and required nations to cap employment of DPRK workers.

The resolution is a watered-down version of the original United States proposal.

"My delegation condemns in the strongest terms and categorically rejects the latest illegal and unlawful U.N. Security Council resolution", said North Korean Ambassador Han Tae Song at a U.N. -sponsored disarmament conference in Geneva. "I do not believe there will be 'Korea passing.' What's your view on this?" And then you can see that others have watered it down, not the U.S.

"If North Korea continues its unsafe path, we will continue with further pressure", she said. The U.S. needs the support of both of its geopolitical rivals for its current strategy of using economic pressure and diplomacy - and not military options - for getting North Korea to halt its testing of nuclear bombs and the missiles for delivering them.

President Donald Trump and congressional lawmakers signaled on Tuesday that more steps need to be taken to rein in North Korea's rapidly developing nuclear program despite the United Nations Security Council's unanimous vote to pass additional sanctions on the rogue nation.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un hosted a massive celebration to congratulate his nuclear scientists and technicians who steered the country's sixth and largest nuclear test a week ago, its official news agency said yesterday.

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"The UNSC's response and actions should be helpful to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and to maintaining the stability of the region".

"Peru declared the ambassador, Kim Hak-Chol, a persona non grata on Monday to protest North Korea's refusal to heed the world's "constant calls" to end its nuclear program - giving him five days to leave the Andean country". They have a lot of leverage.

DeThomas said putting the Chinese "on the other team" won't benefit the United States in the long-term.

We must confront China with its dirty little secret: it has enjoyed the threat North Korea poses to us.

The resolution was only passed unanimously after North Korea's allies Russian Federation and China agreed to softer sanctions than those proposed by the US.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley said the tough new measures were a message to Pyongyang that "the world will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea", but she also held out the prospect of a peaceful resolution to the crisis.

Undaunted by the global criticism of its test, which Pyongyang says was of a hydrogen bomb, Pyongyang celebrated through the weekend, with concerts and banquets for the country's nuclear scientists and engineers.

The U.S. also provided a fresh estimate for the isolated nation's total oil and product imports - about 8.5 million barrels annually, or a little more than 23,000 barrels a day - a figure that's been hard to determine given the paucity of official or consistent trade and consumption data.

But after the latest nuclear test, Haley took a more public approach, announcing a week ago that she would circulate a draft resolution to all council members and that she meant to call for a vote on September 11. The U.S. and United Nations documents switch between referring to natural gas and natural gas liquids, which includes fuels like propane and butane.

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