UN Security Council to Vote after US Softens North Korea Sanctions

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the

The United States called for a vote Monday on new UN sanctions against North Korea, though exactly what measures would be in the resolution remained a mystery.

Jens Stoltenberg says North Korea must abandon its nuclear and missile programs and refrain from further testing.

In a previous statement this week, Macron called on the European Union to tighten the sanctions against North Korea, in addition to the U.N. Security Council's response.

Pyongyang fired an intermediate-range Hwasong-12 over Japan early on Tuesday, which it said was a mere "curtain-raiser" for the North's "resolute countermeasures" against ongoing US-South Korean military drills. They consist of banning any exports of "crude oil, condensates, refined petroleum products, and natural gas liquids" to North Korea, as well as the freezing of Kim Jong-un's assets, prohibition of Kim's removal from North Korea, and prohibition on the hiring of North Korean nationals.

"The time for half-measures in the Security Council is over".

The reporter asked President Trump if war is inevitable and whether he would "tolerate a nuclearized North Korea that is contained and deterred but still nuclear".

Beijing, from which Pyongyang imports almost all of its oil and gas, has yet to indicate its position on such a measure, only reiterating its support of peaceful negotiations. However, the restrictive measures failed to prevent North Korea from conducting further tests.

South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon on Thursday fueled speculation of an imminent launch, saying that North Korea may fire its next missile on Saturday - on the anniversary of its founding.

Despite China's strained relations with Pyongyang in recent years, the odds of Beijing publicly backing oil sanctions seem remote, he added. Looking back at the government's foreign policy during the four months or so that Moon has been in office, South Korea has been yanked around by U.S. pressure and demands, watched its relations with China shift from hopeful to disappointing, and failed to properly respond to Japan, which has been trying to manipulate South Korea by staying in sync with the US.

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But I can tell you that North Korea's behaving badly and it's got to stop, OK? Dozens of people were injured in clashes between South Korean protesters and police Thursday as the USA military added more launchers to the high-tech missile-defense system it installed in a southern town to better cope with North Korean threats.

In an earlier interview with news.com.au, Dr Euan Graham, an expert in global Security Program at the Lowy Institute, said Russian Federation is likely increasing its influence with North Korea so it can act as "the spoiler".

The final draft text to be voted on Monday by the council would require the employment of North Korean workers overseas to be authorized by a Security Council committee.

"But I also think that for every nuclear aspirant there is a unique set of incentives and disincentives to work from", he told CNN.

China has not always seen eye-to-eye with the United States on how to handle Pyongyang and the regime led by Kim Jong-un.

"What other country is in North Korea's position, and what other country would have the conditions that would allow it to have weapons and not end up like Libya or Iraq or somebody else?"

In a sign of the global stakes over Pyongyang's latest test, China said on Thursday that it had lodged a diplomatic protest with South Korea following its announcement that it would increase deployments of a U.S. anti-missile system.

Calls are also mounting in South Korea for Seoul to build nuclear weapons of its own to defend itself as nuclear-armed North Korea's missile stand-off with the United States escalates.

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