China's big banks halt services for North Koreans

China's big banks halt services for North Koreans

China's big banks halt services for North Koreans

Frustrated US lawmakers called at a House hearing on Tuesday for a "supercharged" response to North Korea and said Washington should act alone if necessary to stiffen sanctions on Chinese firms and any country doing business with Pyongyang. "We are done trying to prod the regime to do the right thing" and instead are taking steps to prevent it "from doing the wrong thing". "We can put economic sanctions to stop people trading". In addition, it cited North Korea's collaboration with Angola, Uganda, and other African nations to train their police and military forces.

"Unfortunately, the DPRK does not cease to constantly violate the Security Council resolutions, which inevitably leads to even bigger consequences for the country and its leadership", Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan in the UN Kairat Umarov said.

The measures fell short of Washington's goals, which were a ban on oil imports and freezing the global assets of Kim and his government.

Earlier, the UN Security Council imposed the harshest-ever economic sanctions against North Korea, putting a cap on the amount of fuel it can buy and further restricting import of crude oil.

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There was also activity at another location in the Mount Mantap site involving large vehicles and mining equipment that suggests "onsite work could now be changing focus to further prepare those other portals for future underground nuclear testing", said 38 North, which monitors North Korea.

Thus, according to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, the net effect of the new resolution is to reduce "about 30% of all oil provided to North Korea by cutting off over 55% of refined petroleum products going to North Korea". To win Chinese and Russian support, Washington dropped demands including a bid for an oil embargo. "One of the prime cases would be North Korea's attack on Yeongpyeong Island". But Putin's response was that the situation on the Korean Peninsula can not be resolved through sanctions and pressure alone. However, the damage from the smuggling of prohibited products to and from North Korea will have already been done.

Further underscoring USA questions about Chinese and Russian compliance with the new sanctions measure, senior US officials told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday that effective enforcement by both of the North's neighbors and trading partners will be the acid test of whether sanctions work. During a summit on September 6, South Korean President Moon Jae-in asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to cooperate on cutting off North Korea's supply of crude oil.

US President Donald Trump played down the new United Nations sanctions against North Korea on Tuesday, saying they are "just another very small step" and "not a big deal".

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Pyongyang has rejected the new set of punitive measures, repeating its warning issued just ahead of the Security Council meeting that it will be forced to retaliate using "ultimate means".

Finally, the new resolution requires the end of all joint ventures with North Korea, which will prevent technology transfers useful to North Korea's military industrial complex.

South Korea's Foreign Minister, Kang Kyung-wha, has condoned the actions taken by the US, saying that the nuclear arsenal North Korea is attempting to build is "the biggest challenge to our foreign affairs and security front and will continue to be so for many years to come", as reported by CNN. For that reason, the ambassadors expressed support for the latest sanctions resolution. U.S. officials have said they are still assessing whether it was an H-bomb, also known as a thermonuclear weapon, but that "so far there is nothing inconsistent with the North Korean claim that this was a hydrogen bomb". "The Trump administration is learning on the go how to handle this threat".

The latest round of sanctions could have a significant effect on the North Korean economy, potentially reducing up to $1.3 billion in annual revenue.

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