Kim and Trump are fighting like kindergarten children: Russian Federation

Frederick Owens
September 24, 2017

China will limit exports of refined petroleum products to North Korea starting October 1, its commerce ministry said, confirming Beijing's participation in new United Nations sanctions meant to rein in its rogue neighbour.

Today, China, the North's main trading partner and energy supplier, announced that it will limit oil exports to North Korea under United Nations sanctions over its nuclear and missile development.

The tougher stance follows North Korea's largest nuclear test earlier this month.

The natural disaster was detected in Kilju county in North Hamgyong Province, where North Korea's known Punggyeri nuclear site is located, according to South Korea's meteorological agency.

North Korea announced Friday that the country might test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean. "However, we are carrying out a further analysis because there are concerns that it might have been a man-made quake".

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson expressed hope in an interview with ABC that sanctions and "voices from every corner of the world" could lead North Korea back to talks, but admitted intensifying rhetoric had left Washington "quite challenged".

North Korea said its recent nuclear test was a detonation of a thermonuclear weapon built for its developmental intercontinental ballistic missiles.

North Korean textile exports in 2016 totalled 750 million dollars (£555 million), according to South Korea's Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency.

Experts sympathetic to the line pursued by Trump argue that the threat from North Korea has existed for decades - and has been exacerbated by a lack of meaningful action against it.

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Kim said in his statement early Friday that if the us were to carry out its threat to destroy the North, his country would consider the "highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history".

Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said of today's display of air power: "This is the farthest north of the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) any USA fighter or bomber aircraft have flown off North Korea's coast in the 21st century, underscoring the seriousness with which we take (North Korea's) reckless behaviour". But it also fears the consequences if the regime collapses, such as an exodus of refugees or a US-allied, reunited Korea on its border.

South Korea said it was the first direct statement of its kind by a North Korean leader. "In this case we saw none".

The U.S. Geological Survey said it could not conclusively confirm whether the quake, which it measured at magnitude 3.5, was man-made or natural. The last atmospheric test took place in 1980, when China fired what experts believed to be a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile into a desert salt flat more than 1,300 miles west of Beijing.

The head of the nuclear test monitoring agency CTBTO said on Saturday that analysts were "looking at unusual seismic activity of a much smaller magnitude" than the Sept 3 test in North Korea.

On Friday, Trump described Kim as "a madman who doesn't mind starving or killing his people" and that he "will be tested like never before".

China halted iron, iron ore and seafood imports after the previous round of sanctions against North Korea in August. Satellite photos after the September 3 quake showed numerous landslides apparently caused by the massive blast, which North Korea said was an advanced hydrogen bomb.

China also made a decision to limit exports of refined petroleum products to North Korea from October 1 in line with the export ceiling imposed under the U.N. Security Council Resolution No. 2375.

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