US calls for UNSC meet over N.Korea draft resolution

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North Korea has threatened the United States with the "greatest pain" it has ever experienced in the face of a UN Security Council vote to enforce the toughest sanctions yet on the rogue state.

"If you allow [Kim Jong Un] to have nuclear weapons and South Korea and Japan and others, who are under our 'nuclear umbrella, ' don't, I think that's not balanced", the US senator said.

When these new stronger sanctions are added to those passed last month, over 90 per cent of North Korea's publicly reported exports are now fully banned.

The proposed US sanctions would also freeze all foreign financial assets of the government and its leader, Kim Jong Un.

The proposal, which also calls for freezing Kim's assets, has been sent to the 15 members of the UN Security Council, the diplomat said. The North's Foreign Ministry spokesman said the United States was "going frantic" to manipulate the Security Council over Pyongyang's nuclear test, which it said was part of "legitimate self-defensive measures".

Haley ended her statement with a conciliatory tone, saying that the US takes no pleasure in further strengthening the sanctions and was not "looking for war".

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who called the nuclear risk in North Korea the most risky crisis in the world today, told reporters Tuesday that "the unity of the Security Council is absolutely crucial". While both sides released statements agreeing on the goal of eliminated nuclear weapons from the Korean Peninsula, there was no mention of next steps.

Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke for 45 minutes Wednesday as the US president seeks China's help in putting pressure on Pyongyang.

Britain's United Nations ambassador, Matthew Rycroft, said "maximum possible pressure" should be placed on North Korea and offered support for the USA proposals.

He did not elaborate on what "ultimate means" referred to. According to the latest report filed by The Guardian, the USA has considerably softened on the demands and the sanctions it wants to issue against Pyongyang-the same ones which had triggered another threat from the latter.

The only sanction that has been retained from the US original wish list is a ban on exports of North Korean textiles. Almost 80 per cent went to China. "If they can not, we will not let them use it", the staffer said.

China ambassador to the United Nations Liu Jieyi attends a meeting a the UN Security Council over North Korea's new sanctions
China ambassador to the United Nations Liu Jieyi attends a meeting a the UN Security Council over North Korea's new sanctions Credit AFP

She accused the dictator of reckless use of missiles, adding that his regular threats to attack the USA and her allies show that he is spoiling for war.

"We have been clear in close consultation with the Americans that oil has to be included as an element of sanctions", South Korean foreign minister Kang Kyung-Wha told reporters. That initiative was rejected by the Trump administration.

"We are very pleased with this package", the official said of the resolution, even though it required USA concessions to China and Russian Federation to win approval.

Instead, the level of crude oil is capped to the four million barrels it now receives from a Chinese pipeline, while deliveries of refined oil products are limited to 500,000 barrels for three months from October 1 and to two million barrels from January 1 for a period of 12 months.

Chinese officials have privately expressed fears that an oil embargo could risk causing massive instability in the neighboring country. Japan, South Korea, and Guam, which are all USA allies, are within striking distance of North Korea.

The council last month imposed sanctions over North Korea's two long-range ballistic missile launches in July.

Washington and its allies have said there is a growing urgency for China, North Korea's top ally and trading partner, to apply more pressure on its already isolated neighbor to get it to back down on its nuclear weapons and missiles programs.

The South Korean Foreign Ministry in a statement also lauded the adoption of UNSC Resolution 2375 as a response to the Pyongyang's latest nuclear test, which it said "showed the strong will of the worldwide community that it will not allow North Korea's reckless and irresponsible nuclear weapons development, a serious provocation to global peace and security".

The latest resolution contained new political language urging "further work to reduce tensions so as to advance the prospects for a comprehensive settlement".

Among other concessions, the new text also removes authorization to use force to inspect ships suspected of carrying North Korean cargo and drops a proposed assets freeze on the state-owned Air Koryo airline.