Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
World | By Carl Welch

Peru Expels North Korean Ambassador Over Nuclear Program

Peru Expels North Korean Ambassador Over Nuclear Program

The UN Security Council has unanimously adopted a US-drafted resolution imposing new sanctions on North Korea following its sixth and largest nuclear test.

Hackers linked to North Korea are ramping up attempts to steal bitcoin in order to bring in money for Kim Jong Un's regime, a top cybersecurity firm says.

China supports action from the UNSC in response to North Korea's nuclear test, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a daily briefing on Monday.

They blamed "lax enforcement" of sanctions coupled North Korea's "evolving evasion techniques" for undermining the achievement of this goal which would see the North abandon all weapons of mass destruction. "China does not want North Korea to collapse, but wants a stick to get it to the negotiating table". And it would cap Pyongyang's imports of refined petroleum products at 2 million barrels a year, and crude oil at the level of the last 12 months.

"We've said the North can't have nuclear weapons, we've used this rhetoric and we've had no means to prevent it, and this goes back to the assumption that North Korea wasn't going to last so we wouldn't have anything to worry about". It cited United Nations customs data showing that China reported sending 6,000 barrels a day of oil products to North Korea, which the agency said is mostly gasoline and diesel fuel vital to the country's agriculture, transportation and military sectors. While that's about 10% more than the maximum amount allowed in the draft resolution, the exact volume of products is hard to determine and the cap is near estimated levels reported elsewhere.

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. It would prohibit all new and existing joint ventures and cooperative arrangements with a single exception.

Almost 80 per cent of the textile exports went to China. And the new measure adds a caveat to the original language that would have banned the import of North Korean laborers altogether, saying that countries should not provide work authorization papers unless necessary for humanitarian assistance or denuclearization.

It fell short of the original U.S. demand for banning travel by North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un and freezing his assets.

"We now will implement new United Nations sanctions as we have always done before", Mogherini said.

The original USA draft would also have frozen the assets of North Korea's state-owned airline Air Koryo, the Korean People's Army, and five other powerful military and party entities.

The United States is attempting to "strangle and completely suffocate" North Korea, the country's Foreign Ministry said, and Pyongyang "shall make absolutely sure that the USA pays due price".

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley says the United States is not looking for war with North Korea, and that Pyongyang has "not yet passed the point of no return".

Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told the council it would be a "big mistake to under-estimate this Russia-China initiative" for a so-called freeze-for freeze, adding that Moscow would "insist on it being considered".

The fear is that outside influences have provided North Korea with equipment or expertise that has moved them closer to becoming a nuclear nation.

China had allegedly already begun suspending accounts held by North Korean's as its foreign minister Wang Yi said Beijing would be open further sanctions if it helped to open a dialogue with North Korea. "If North Korea continues its risky path, we will continue with further pressure".

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