The UN Security Council (UNSC) has unanimously approved a fresh round of tougher sanctions against North Korea for its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.
Germany would lend its weight to a diplomatic push to end North Korean nuclear weapons and missile development along the lines of a past deal with Iran, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Sunday.
Such trade could provide a lifeline to North Korea at a time when the United States is seeking to deepen Kim's economic and political isolation in response to recent nuclear and missiles tests.
The US has circulated a draft resolution that would, aside from barring crude oil shipments to North Korea, ban the nation's exports of textiles and prohibit employment of its guest workers by other countries, according to a diplomat at the world body.
After a meeting of the 28 European Union foreign ministers in Tallinn last week, Mogherini said work would begin on new measures against the North to add to the broad range of sanctions the bloc already has in place.
The tensions have weighed on global markets, but yesterday there was some relief among investors that North Korea did not conduct a further missile test when it celebrated its founding anniversary over the weekend.
Hackers tied to North Korea are also suspected of carrying out a series of attacks on global banks that came to light a year ago.
"My delegation condemns in the strongest terms and categorically rejects the latest illegal and unlawful U.N. Security Council resolution", North Korean Ambassador Han Tae Song told the U.N. -sponsored Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, according to Reuters.
This will not only starve the regime of any revenues generated through such arrangements, it will now stop all future foreign investments and technology transfers to help North Korea's nascent and weak commercial industries, according to a U.S. factsheet. China supplies most of North Korea's crude.
Joining "the H-bomb club" is the latest in a string of technical accomplishments in North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs that complicate Washington's ability to negotiate with Pyongyang.
The smuggled goods mostly are diesel and other fuels, which are vital to North Korea's economy and can't be produced indigenously.
To pass, the resolution would need nine votes in the council and no vetoes from any of the five permanent members - the United States, Britain, France, Russia or China. "I don't think what we are hearing is the process per se, which will follow those initial comments when the senior leadership of the country looks at all the issues, drills down on the issues and comes up with some options, and how we would work with our allies".
"There is a significant prize in keeping the whole of the Security Council united", he told reporters.