Treasury's Mnuchin: China may face new sanctions on North Korea

Kim and Ri inspecting the Rungna People's Pleasure Ground in Pyongyang in 2012
Credit
AP

The UN Security Council is expected to vote on the United States led resolution later today, following North Korea's sixth and most powerful nuclear test to date on September 3.

The UN move was triggered by the North's sixth and largest nuclear test this month.

"We should go after banks and companies in other countries that do business with North Korea the same way", he said.

"Peaceful and diplomatic resolution will be possible only when the three neighboring powers implement a joint strategy toward North Korea", Schroeder said, pointing out that ongoing American economic pressure on China and sanctions on Russian Federation are not helpful for the coveted three-nation partnership. Significantly, it stopped short of imposing a full embargo on oil exports to North Korea, most of which come from China. The president has also said that he wants every country involved to step up and do more.

"We think it's a big mistake to underestimate this Russia, China initiative", Nebenzia said.

China's foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on Trump's potential visit. The spike in activity began soon after the US said it planned to ratchet up sanctions against North Korea.

The test, which the North said was a hydrogen bomb that could be fitted onto a rocket, came weeks after Pyongyang fired two intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that appeared to bring much of the mainland United States into range.

North Korea is thought to possess missiles capable of reaching over 8,000 kilometers, which would place Hawaii and the west coast of the continental USA at risk.

The critiques will be much harsher if North Korea spirals out of control.

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If nearby states have reasonable suspicion that ships transiting to North Korea are carrying prohibited items, those ships should undergo inspection by the proper authorities, according to the UN-drafted resolution. Textile exports, banned under the resolution, represent more than a quarter of North Korea's export income.

North Korea's top envoy in Geneva condemned the latest round of United Nations Security Council sanctions against Pyongyang, describing the embargoes as an "illegal" measure. But unification would also bring a host of problems, given the malnourished state of many of North Korea's people and its poor health system.

"We don't threaten China, even a little bit, with country sanctions because that would be hard, politically", to do, said Rep. Brad Sherman, a California Democrat. And she pointed to new United Nations sanctions, pushed through by the US.

The UN report said it was investigating "chemical, ballistic missile and conventional arms cooperation" between North Korea and Syria.

The US official said the ban on textile exports would deprive North Korea of some $726 million in annual revenue. "Time is running out".

Assistant Treasury Secretary Marshall Billingslea acknowledged at the hearing he had not seen sufficient evidence past sanctions were effective, but defended the administration's strategy.

The nuclear test came weeks after Pyongyang launched two intercontinental ballistic missiles that seemed to make USA territory accessible to Korean missiles.

Kim, who has said he won't negotiate unless the USA drops its "hostile policies", threw a banquet for nuclear scientists and technicians to celebrate the hydrogen bomb test, the official Korean Central News Agency reported yesterday.

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