John McCain: North Korea must know price for aggression is 'extinction'

Elias Hubbard
September 13, 2017

There are also restrictions on textiles, which are North Korea's second-biggest export after coal and other minerals.

They have proposed a freeze-for-freeze that would halt North Korean nuclear and missile tests in exchange for the US and South Korea stopping their joint military exercises - but the Trump administration has rejected that.

There have been signs, including reduced supply and skyrocketing prices, that North Korea has already started diverting oil products away from gas stations and other consumer outlets.

David von Hippel, an energy expert with the Nautilus Institute think-tank who has done extensive research on North Korea, said he doubts that oil sanctions will hit the regime very hard.

A revised resolution to be put for a vote on Monday afternoon (New York time) does not include an oil embargo, but instead limits the yearly exports of refined petroleum products to 2 million barrels and the exports to crude oil not to exceed current levels, according to news reports by foreign media including Reuters. John McCain on Sunday called for the United States to step up its presence around North Korea and make clear to its leader, Kim Jong Un, that aggressive acts would lead to the annihilation of his country.

But it reportedly dropped the travel ban and asset freeze for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, which was initially proposed in the first draft authored by the Untie States.

Earlier in the day, North Korea warned the US of "greatest pain" if it pushed ahead with a tougher UNSC resolution. The U.S. estimates about 93,000 North Koreans are now working overseas, the official said.

The original US draft would also have frozen the assets of North Korea's state-owned airline Air Koryo, the Korean People's Army and five other powerful military and party entities.

North Korea's Foreign Ministry said in a statement published on state media that if the USA "does rig up the illegal and unlawful 'resolution, '" it would respond in kind.

South Korean officials previously said the US and China were in last-minute negotiations over how tightly the UNSC resolution will restrict oil exports to North Korea.

The resolution also adds language underscoring the Security Council's commitment to North Korea's sovereignty and territorial integrity, to "a peaceful and diplomatic solution to the situation", and "its concern that developments on the Korean Peninsula could have risky, large-scale regional security implications".

Europe should stand united in trying to bring about a diplomatic solution and "do everything that can be done in terms of sanctions", she said.

Although the resolution won unanimous backing from all 15 council members, the weakened penalties reflected the power of Russian Federation and China, which had objected to the original language and could have used their votes to veto the measure, reported New York Times.

It retains language on the council's "determination to take further significant measures" in the event of a new nuclear test or ballistic missile launch.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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