Chinese banks halt transactions for North Koreans

Trump Admin. Seeks UN Authorization to Use Military Force Against North Korean Smuggling Vessels

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said Monday her country was "not looking for war" with North Korea, as the UN Security Council unanimously passed new sanctions she said would "starve the regime" into stopping its nuclear programme.

Along with settling for the compromise on oil, the US unsuccessfully tried to get a travel ban and freezes on the assets of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Air Koryo, the North's flagship airline.

But it only caps Pyongyang's imports of crude oil at the level of the last 12 months, and it limits the import of refined petroleum products to 2 million barrels a year. It would also ban new contracts for North Korean workers that are sent overseas.

The US wanted a complete ban on oil exports to North Korea, immediate end to employment of an estimated 93,000 of its citizens overseas, forcible boarding of ships trading with that country to check for contraband, and restrictions on UN.

Mnuchin said that if China doesn't follow the United Nations sanctions approved on North Korea, he will seek new financial sanctions on Beijing to cut off access to the USA financial system.

Still, they noted that the measure could open the way for a complete oil embargo.

North Korea said that the pain would be like something that America has never experienced before. If it proves it can live in peace, the world will live in peace with it. ...

North Korea is betting that the United States will not stage a preemptive attack, and that if the USA made such an attack, China would come to its aid.

The U.S. has signaled its impatience with the United Nations process of talks and sanctions which appear to have done nothing to curtail the pace of North Korea's weapons development program. It also bans the sale of condensates and natural gas liquids to the North.

There are a few things that made it through the negotiating process - for instance, a ban on textile exports from North Korea, for instance.

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The textile ban is significant.

Monday's resolution followed a council resolution on August 5, which imposed a ban on the export of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore, and seafood from North Korea, among other restrictive measures.

Instead, the level of crude oil is capped to the four million barrels it now receives from a Chinese pipeline, while deliveries of refined oil products are limited to 500,000 barrels for three months from October 1 and to two million barrels from January 1 for a period of 12 months.

But after negotiations in recent days, mainly among the council's veto powers - the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France - the revised draft appears to resemble another incremental increase in sanctions on Pyongyang. She said the US would continue to act to disrupt North Korea's illicit activities wherever they are located.

According to a Reuters report, not everyone agrees other than the Pentagon that the United States can deal with a North Korean missile threat. The council also froze the assets of three additional entities: the Central Military Commission, the powerful Organization and Guidance Department that directs key personnel appointments and the Propaganda and Agitation Department, which oversees the North's media and its censorship.

He also called for the removal of the American Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) antimissile battery from South Korea, even though the focus of the meeting was to vote on the resolution.

North Korea warned the United States earlier on Monday that it would pay a "due price" for spearheading efforts on UN sanctions.

"It's important to change North Korea's policy through pressure that is stronger than they've ever seen", said Abe.

Pyongyang's ambassador Han Tae Song, addressing the UN-sponsored Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, said: "The Washington regime fired up for political, economic, and military confrontation, (is) obsessed with the wild game of reversing the DPRK's development of nuclear force which has already reached the completion phase". Ideally, Kazakhstan calls on all UN Member States, especially the Permanent Members of the Security Council, to rid the world of nuclear weapons by the UN's 100th Anniversary in 2045, " it was noted in the January address of the Head of State.

David von Hippel, an energy expert with the Nautilus Institute think-tank who has done extensive research on North Korea, said he doubts that oil sanctions will hit the regime very hard.

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