Sanctions are crippling North Korea's economy

U.S. Bid To Ban Fuel Shipments To North Korea Fails
Maximum Pressure RIP? China, Russia Throw Wrench in US Plans to Cut Off North Korea's Oil
Author

24 July, 2018

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has urged UN Security Council members to continue upholding sanctions on North Korea.

UNITED NATIONS-Russia and China blocked the United States on Thursday from getting the United Nations to publicly accuse North Korea of smuggling in refined petroleum products beyond the annual quota of 500,000 barrels allowed under U.N. sanctions, diplomats said.

Earlier this week, Seoul officials confirmed that the same two ships, under the flags of Panama and Sierra Leone, carried over 9,000 tons of North Korean coal from the port of Kholmsk on Russia's Sakhalin Island to South Korean ports last October, a violation of a comprehensive coal ban passed by the UN Security Council in August 2017. We have - we're just going through the process. Much of North Korea's oil comes from Russian Federation and China.

U.S. President Donald Trump has said that sanctions won't be lifted until Kim moves to give up his nuclear and missile arsenal.

North Korea has called the sanctions "vicious" but rejects suggestions that the pressure led them to pursue diplomatic talks. North Korea's gross national income, meanwhile, increased 0.7 percent last year from a year ago to 36.6 trillion won ($32.3 billion) - which is only one-forty seventh of South Korea's GNI of 1,730.5 trillion won.

Asked about the change in tone, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert sought to reassure: "We have teams in place that are working very hard on this issue every day", she said.

Pompeo described the steps Kim must take to prove he will denuclearize: "Chairman Kim told not only President Trump, but President Moon that he was prepared to denuclearize".

"When sanctions are not enforced, the prospects for the successful denuclearization are diminished", Pompeo said at the United Nations in NY.

"We are attempting to make sense of what, precisely, President Trump means", said spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom, .

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The newspaper did not mention Moon by name but pointed to his remarks during a visit to Singapore last week that North Korea and the United States would face the "stern judgment" of the worldwide community if their leaders fail to keep the promise they publicly made.

For now, the only concrete results of the Washington-Pyongyang thaw are the North's halt to nuclear and missile testing and the American side's suspension of planned military manoeuvres with South Korea, long denounced as a "provocation" by Pyongyang.

"We're moving along. We'll see what happens".

"To be successful, negotiations need time", said Abraham Denmark of the Wilson Center think tank in Washington.

In the meantime, it remains unclear what these high-level moves toward rapprochement may spell for the situation on the ground in North Korea - where the United Nations estimates roughly 40 percent of the population is undernourished.

"It's very important that the Security Council remains closely connected to political developments on the peninsula", he said.

These actions are all "generating significant revenues for the regime and they must be stopped", he said. They emphasized to the UN Security Council the need to enforce its sanctions on North Korea. North Korea has accused South Korea of kidnapping them, while South Korea says they chose to resettle of their own will.

Trump opened up prospects for an end to the standoff with North Korea when he met in Singapore on June 12 with Kim, who agreed to work toward denuclearization of the peninsula.


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