N.Korea defiant over United Nations sanctions as Trump says tougher steps needed

Frederick Owens
September 13, 2017

The United Nations Security Council approved new sanctions aimed at punishing North Korea for its latest missile and nuclear tests after the USA dropped key demands in order to win support from Russian Federation and China.

South Korean officials have said after the North's sixth nuclear test on Sept 3, which it said was of an advanced hydrogen bomb, that it could launch another intercontinental ballistic missile in defiance of global pressure. "We can designate Chinese banks and companies unilaterally, giving them a choice between doing business with North Korea or the United States", said Royce, who had breakfast on Tuesday with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Having both agreed to sign off on a watered-down version of the North Korea sanctions bill at the UN Security Council, Russia and China have issued a joint statement on the matter warning the United States against pushing any further measures.

The resolution instead bans trade in textiles, cuts off natural gas shipments to North Korea, places a ceiling on deliveries of refined oil products and caps crude oil shipments at current levels.

Rarely does a government announce a strategy to assassinate a head of state, but South Korea wants to keep the North on edge and nervous about the consequences of further developing its nuclear arsenal.

With a range of 500 kilometers, the Taurus is reportedly capable of carrying out precision attacks on targets in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, even if fired from as far as central South Korea.

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"This large explosive yield is also quite close to what 38 North had previously determined to be the maximum estimated containable yield for the Punggye-ri test site", said 38 North. Frustrated that China had not done more to rein in North Korea, the Trump administration was mulling new sanctions in July on small Chinese banks and other firms doing business with Pyongyang, two senior US officials told Reuters. "It remains on the table at the Security Council and we will insist on it being considered". He called on North Korea to "take seriously" the will of the worldwide community to halt its nuclear and ballistic missile development.

In its statement Wednesday, North Korea's Foreign Ministry ripped into the sanctions, labeling them a "heinous provocation" led by the United States.

Last week, US President Donald Trump agreed to lift payload limits under a decades-old treaty, allowing South Korea to build more powerful ballistic missiles. An Aug. 5 United Nations resolution banned North Korean exports of coal.

It said damage to the mountainous terrain at the North's Punggye-ri nuclear test site seen in satellite imagery taken after the latest explosion was more extensive than anything seen after the five previous tests.

The plan was put on ice later that month after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he would watch what "the foolish Yankees" do before making a decision on whether to follow through with the firing.

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