New sanctions against North Korea "a small step"

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The UN Security Council on Monday unanimously passed a US-drafted resolution that imposes strongest sanctions ever on North Korea, including restricting its oil imports and banning textile exports, to curb the reclusive nation's nuclear programme.

Ethiopia's United Nations mission, the current Security Council president, said late Sunday that members would vote on a North Korea resolution following a meeting Monday afternoon on implementing existing sanctions against the North Korean government.

Government estimates of the yield from its sixth nuclear test vary from South Korea's 50 kilotons to Japan's 160, but 38 North, which is linked to Johns Hopkins University in the United States, raised its estimate to "roughly 250 kilotons", in line with upward revisions for the magnitude of the resulting tremor.

"If it agrees to stop its nuclear program, it can reclaim its future".

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying has also urged a peaceful resolution of the standoff, calling on the United States to take concrete actions to deescalate tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Earlier this month North Korea launched its biggest nuclear bomb test, prompting global condemnation as US President Donald Trump said "appeasement" would not work.

So for instance, while the US wanted a total oil embargo, this resolution calls for a cap on oil exports to North Korea, cutting it, Haley says, by about 30 percent. Almost 80 percent of the textile exports went to China. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is certainly keeping the door open to diplomacy, but he's focused on this sanctions track for now - the pressure side - so that if talks eventually get going, the US will go into it with some more leverage.

Instead, the resolution caps refined oil imports at 2 million barrels and crude oil imports at their current levels.

The US watered down an initial tougher draft resolution to win the support of Pyongyang ally China and Russian Federation.

State Department and Treasury Department officials testified to the House Foreign Affairs Committee about the US pressure campaign against North Korea's rapid progress toward a nuclear weapon that could strike America. Haley has rejected that proposal as "insulting". He urged the administration to "dramatically ramp up" US sanctions designations of entities that deal with North Korea, particularly Chinese banks.

China had allegedly already begun suspending accounts held by North Korean's as its foreign minister Wang Yi said Beijing would be open further sanctions if it helped to open a dialogue with North Korea.

The Security Council vote comes hours after North Korea warned that it would inflict "pain and suffering" on the USA should the resolution go through.

"This is a compromise in order to get everybody on board", French U.N. Ambassador Francois Delattre said of the draft ahead of the vote.

North Korea is "ready to use a form of ultimate means", Han said.

During a parliamentary interpellation session later in the day, Lee also said that the redeployment of U.S. nuclear weapons here would break the principle of a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula. Some Chinese banks have started banning new North Korean accounts or blocking new deposits to existing accounts, the Financial Times reported. "This ban will eventually starve the regime of an additional $500 million or more in annual revenues", Haley said. Tensions in Korea have soared, but they may still soar higher.

The Security Council will this afternoon vote on a resolution put forward by the U.S. following the secretive state's sixth nuclear test earlier this month.

Still, the sanctions were lighter than what the United States government originally wanted-and still wants.