United States seeks toughest sanctions on NK as China’s cooperation still uncertain

It would order all countries to freeze all funds, other financial assets and economic resources outside North Korea “that are owned or controlled, directly or indirectly” by Kim Jong Un, the ruling Worker’s Party of Korea, the government, or by individuals or entities acting on their behalf or at their direction.

The United States has proposed a resolution at the United Nations that would include broad new sanctions on North Korea and freeze the assets of leader Kim Jong Un, according to a UN diplomat.

Banning the North’s textiles exports, its second-biggest export product past year, is also reportedly on the draft resolution, in addition to imposing a complete ban on hiring North Korean workers overseas. Both have in the past resisted a ban of oil exports to North Korea, although on Thursday Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, “given the new developments”, China agrees that further United Nations sanctions are needed, though he did not specify what kind.

China, along with Russian Federation, has advocated for a so-called “freeze for freeze” approach, under which North Korea would cease conducting nuclear and missile tests in exchange for the United States and South Korea ending longstanding joint military exercises – a proposal that Haley has called “insulting”.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow is concerned over cutting off oil supplies to North Korea in his meeting Wednesday with South Korean President Moon Jae-in Wednesday in Vladivostok.

The new draft United Nations resolution would ban exports to North Korea of crude oil, condensate, refined petroleum products, and natural gas liquids.

The 15-member council is expected to put it to vote on Monday, as declared by U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley earlier this week when she called for the “strongest possible” sanctions resolution on the North.

Both countries are suppliers of oil to North Korea, and both wield vetoes at the Security Council. In figures, … 270 million dollars have gone into the regime since the end of a year ago from exports of banned minerals – coal, iron and zinc.

This comes as U.S. President Donald Trump’s top national security advisers detailed the administration’s strategy for dealing with North Korea in a series of classified briefings on Capitol Hill Wednesday.

But the move may face opposition from other members.

A US-drafted resolution circulated on Wednesday also called for banning textile exports and ending payments made to North Korean labourers sent overseas, further depriving the Asian country of revenue to pursue its military programmes. If passed, it would put in place the toughest resolutions against the North since 2006, when it carried out its first nuclear test. Almost 80 percent of the textile exports went to China.

The draft resolution would allow states to intercept and inspect on the high seas vessels that have been blacklisted by the Security Council.

The draft calls for a resumption of long-stalled six-party talks between North Korea and the U.S., Russia, China, South Korea and Japan with the goal of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula.

The North Korean nuclear test came three days after two nuclear-capable US B-1B strategic bombers conducted a military drill alongside four F-35Bs and a few Japanese F-15s. Haley has dismissed the suggestion as “insulting”.

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