United Nations to Vote Today on North Korea Sanctions, Say Diplomats


President Donald Trump said today new United Nations sanctions "are nothing compared to what ultimately will have to happen" to stop North Korea's nuclear march.

The Security Council last month imposed new sanctions over North Korea's two long-range missile launches in July.

Differences have opened up between permanent security council members about how to respond to the nuclear test, weeks after they unanimously backed tougher sanctions when Pyongyang launched two ICBMs that, theoretically, could reach several United States cities. They were undeniably tough, but not crippling for Pyongyang. Following on from the Obama administration's sanctions past year, the Trump administration is not specifically targeting North Korea's nuclear and missile programs but is seeking to cripple the country economically. Textiles represent Pyongyang's second-largest export after coal and other minerals, which have been targeted by previous rounds of United Nations sanctions.

American diplomats' initial draft sought an oil embargo, a halt on North Korea's textile exports, and a financial and travel ban on leader Kim Jong Un.

"North Korea is very sophisticated in concealing the fact that it is, indeed, doing business overseas".

We are tightening the screw, and we stand prepared to tighten it further. (Moscow rejected the idea.) Ultimately, the United States learned to live with a nuclear Russian Federation and a nuclear China.

But all these measures fall well short of what the U.S. was seeking to include in the original package.

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop welcomed the unanimous resolution by the United Nations saying "This is the toughest sanctions package yet". Instead, current crude oil imports into North Korea are capped at current levels, and the flow of refined oil products into the country are merely reduced.

To win the support of Russian Federation and China, which had been reluctant to impose new sanctions, UN diplomats told news agencies that the United States watered down its previous proposal for a full oil embargo, eliminated a proposed asset freeze on leader Kim Jong Un, and included language calling for a "peaceful, diplomatic, and political" resolution of the standoff on the Korean Peninsula.

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The draft resolution also no longer proposes an asset freeze on the military-controlled national airline Air Koryo.

Before the resolution was voted, North Korea's official news agency quoted the Foreign Ministry as saying the country was "quite ready to use any ultimate means" to retaliate against the U.S. for the sanctions and claiming it had "near-to-completion nuclear capability".

North Koreans on Saturday celebrated another public holiday with familiar routines, laying flowers and bowing in front of statues and portraits of past leaders while the outside world kept a close watch amid speculations that another missile test is near.

DPRK is short for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Although only 37 percent overall fear an imminent outbreak of war, the rate is 42 percent among those in their 20s, who have tended to be the most friendly to North Korea.

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.

Analysts say the move could cut off a major source of foreign currency for Pyongyang. "The other possibility.is they want to see the color of China's money". As a result, China helps prop up the North Korean leadership knowing that a stable North Korea serves as a strategic buffer for itself.

"Many have the view that North Korea's actually extremely, extremely isolated from the global community, that it doesn't have trade relations with the outside world, bar China, but the truth couldn't be further from that", defence analyst Andrea Berger said.

Here are some key questions on UNSC resolution 2375, and its attempt to end the North's nuclear weapons and missile programs.