USA enlists United Nations to keep sanctions pressure on NKorea

Marco Green
July 21, 2018

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday that he and President Trump remain "upbeat about the prospects of denuclearization of North Korea" and that "progress is happening".

After President Donald Trump held an unprecedented summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore, China proposed that the council signal a possible easing of sanctions to welcome the diplomatic thaw.

French Ambassador Francois Delattre said both Pompeo and Kang sought to "confirm the unity and firmness of the Security Council in the full implementation of the sanctions".

Pompeo made the remarks after he and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley met with the U.N. Secretary General as well as with Japan, South Korea and the entire U.N. Security Council on Friday to address a crescendo of domestic and worldwide concerns - and confusion - about U.S. foreign policy and the recent summit between Mr. Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"We need to see chairman Kim do what he promised the world he would do", Pompeo said.

Experts say years of increasingly tougher United Nations sanctions are having an impact on North Korea.

USA documents sent to the sanctions committee and obtained by The Associated Press cite 89 instances between January 1 and May 30 in which North Korean tankers likely delivered refined products "illicitly procured" via ship-to-ship transfers.

After Pompeo's third trip to Pyongyang, North Korea released a scathing statement, saying the USA made "gangster-like" demands and calling the meetings "regrettable" and even "cancerous".

"What we need now, though, is we need to continue that", Pompeo said.

"The conversations continue. We're working on it".

"We know, and we have the capability to know, what they're doing, and we're going to make sure we do it right", he said.

But North Korea has taken no demonstrable steps towards denuclearization, and now, according to Pompeo and Haley, it is violating those sanctions with Chinese and Russian help by illegally smuggling petroleum products into the country at levels higher than allowed by United Nations sanctions.

But, Pompeo said, North Korea is "illegally smuggling" in refined petroleum products beyond the quota of 500,000 barrels per year allowed under United Nations sanctions, mainly by ship-to-ship transfers.

They informed Dutch Ambassador to the U.N. Karel van Oosterom - who chairs the U.N. committee on North Korea sanctions - that they were requesting information on each of the 89 transfers, essentially delaying the "halt" on the illicit transfers that the USA wants.

It asked the committee to order a halt to refined petroleum exports to North Korea, but Russian Federation and China put a "hold" on the request on Thursday and asked for more detail on the USA accusation. She needs to study basics more! "The problem that we are encountering is that some of our friends have decided that they want to go around the rules".

When asked about a time frame, he said it will likely take longer than originally thought. "But our hopes for a safer world for all of us and a brighter future for North Korea remains our objective, and that hope endures", he said.

If the path to get there is "not easy", it is "pretty straightforward", Pompeo said. Russian Federation and China on July 19, 2018, asked for more time to consider a request from the the UN Security Council to halt all deliveries of refined oil products to North Korea, U.S. diplomats said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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