President Donald Trump discussed North Korea's strongest nuclear test yet with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday, as the USA proposed crippling new sanctions and world leaders tussled over whether pressure or dialogue was the best way to rein in the rogue nation.
The US is circulating a draft resolution at the United Nations that would bar 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 Kim's pariah regime claimed it carried out a hydrogen bomb test over the weekend, US Ambassador Nikki Haley said the United States would be seeking a vote at the council on new sanctions on September 11.
On Thursday morning, South Korean President Moon Jae-in met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo in Vladivostok where they are attending the Eastern Economic Forum, hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
While Mattis reminded North Korea that the US had military options available to it, he also said that the USA doesn't seek the "total annihilation" of the North. Mattis and other top officials also have made it clear that the US has not closed the door on diplomacy, contrary to what Trump has suggested.
Addressing the audience in Vladivostok, Abe called on the worldwide community "to unite in applying the greatest possible pressure on North Korea".
Pyongyang said it "has developed and perfected the super-powerful thermonuclear weapon as a means to deter the ever-increasing hostile moves and nuclear threat of the US", and to "defuse the danger of nuclear war looming over the Korean peninsula".
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Putin reportedly argued that Russian Federation exports a negligible amount of oil to North Korea-about 40,000 tonnes a year.
In an implicit recognition that the military options against the North are unpalatable at best and pyrrhic at worst, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis last week told reporters: "We are never out of diplomatic solutions".
"As we've built military power by tightening our belts for decades, we've stepped up to the status of a nuclear power and a global military power with an atom bomb, a hydrogen bomb and an intercontinental ballistic missile", the newspaper wrote.
Hayes and von Hippel say that it would be unlikely to have much of an effect on North Korea's military and nuclear programs in the short term because they can draw on stockpiles.
Putin has remained firm however, that such sanctions on oil would have negative humanitarian effects on North Koreans. Pyongyang says it needs nuclear arms to protect itself, but the U.S. has accused the isolated nation of "begging for war". Later that day he fired off another tweet suggesting that the U.S.is considering "stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea".
The proposed package of measures would be the strongest yet against North Korea, which is barred under United Nations resolutions from developing nuclear or missile technology.
The JoongAng Ilbo reported that the government plans to boost the fund by about US$2 billion to fund a potential trilateral project among Seoul, Pyongyang and Moscow to establish the complex in areas spanning the North Korean port city of Rajin and Russia's Khasan.