North Korea threatens USA with 'great pain & suffering' over pending sanctions

Elias Hubbard
September 14, 2017

"We don't worry very much", said another shop worker, Ri Jong Ok.

"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 USA senator said.

Analysts differ on effectiveness of financial sanctionsThe US's announcement of plans for additional pressure on Pyongyang amid discussions toward a new UN Security Council resolution after North Korea's sixth nuclear test is drawing new attention to the issue of North Korean citizens unable to conduct bank transactions in China.

The hearing came a day after the U.N. Security Council imposed its latest sanctions over what North Korea says was a hydrogen bomb test September 3, its most powerful atomic test yet.

A tougher initial United States draft was weakened to win the support of China, Pyongyang's main ally and trading partner, and Russian Federation, both of which hold veto power in the council.

Of five key original measures, a ban on textile exports from North Korea remained.

In reality, the Trump administration has relatively low expectations for the new sanctions, USA officials say. The latest resolution draft by the United States includes financial sanctions, among them a freeze on overseas financial assets.

But, he says, "those sanctions are nothing compared to what ultimately will have to happen". Trump has vowed not to allow North Korea to possess a nuclear missile capable of hitting the United States.

FireEye says it has identified three attacks against South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges that took place between May and July, all of them linked to North Korean hackers.

Trump is likely to make a stop in China in November during his first official visit to Asia and Tillerson was due to hold talks later on Tuesday with China's most senior diplomat, State Councilor Yang Jiechi, at which details of the trip are expected to be discussed, USA officials said.

Ambassador Han Tae Song also lashed out at the United States during a plenary session of the U.N.'s Conference on Disarmament, saying North Korea denounces Washington's "evil intention" and would "make sure the USA pays a due price".

But lawmakers insisted any military option should be a last resort.

"The forthcoming measures to be taken by the DPRK will cause the United States the greatest pain and suffering it had ever gone through in its entire history". The agency estimates North Korea crude imports at about 10,000 barrels a day.

"The one factor working in favor of these sanctions being implemented is that the Chinese and Russians have to be fearful that the US will impose its own sanctions on Chinese and Russian companies", he said.

Beijing and Moscow have called for a freeze-for-freeze agreement with North Korea, which would see the USA and South Korea halt military drills on the Korean Peninsula in exchange for Pyongyang stopping its nuclear and ballistic missile programme.

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

Lawmakers pressed State and Treasury Department officials for evidence new sanctions would be more effective.

Billingslea called on anyone aware of efforts to enable North Korean trade to come forward before getting caught. "We are closing in on North Korea's trade representatives", he said.

And the US ambassador, Nikki Haley, says the resolution is meant to starve the regime of the money it needs to develop its nuclear and missile programs.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly urged China to use its influence to rein in Kim's regime and he's said Japan and South Korea can buy more sophisticated US military equipment to defend themselves from attack.

Earlier, North Korea said it would not accept any chastisement over its nuclear and missile program, which it says is vital to stave off the threat of an American invasion.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said last week during a visit to Russia that shutting off North Korea's supply of oil was inevitable this time to bring Pyongyang to talks and he called for Russian President Vladimir Putin's support.

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) says estimates suggest Pyongyang imports about 10,000 barrels of crude oil a day, nearly all of it from China.

"We're convinced that diverting the gathering menace from the Korean Peninsula could be done not through further and further sanctions, but by political means", he said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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