US proposes North Korea oil embargo, freezing Kim Jong Un assets

NEW YORK, dpa correspondents (dpa)- A resolution drafted by the United States on tougher sanctions against North Korea over its latest nuclear test includes a proposal to freeze leader Kim Jon Un's assets and an oil embargo.
The draft, seen by dpa on Wednesday, also includes a ban on the country's textile exports and the employment of North Korean workers abroad. The proposal has been submitted to the other members of the UN Security Council.

The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, had earlier threatened the most stringent sanctions after Pyongyang said it had tested a hydrogen bomb that can be loaded onto an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), drawing worldwide condemnation.
A vote on the draft is scheduled for Monday.
The most severe UN sanctions so far against North Korea, imposed only weeks ago, introduced a complete ban on coal and iron exports and blocked international sales of North Korean lead ore and seafood, and also imposed travel bans and asset freezes on individuals and companies.
That sanctions package was expected to put a huge dent in North Korea's economy, cutting its annual earnings by a third. But less than a month after that resolution, Kim's regime launched four missiles in a week - three into the Sea of Japan and the fourth over Hokkaido a few days later.
Meanwhile, South Korea said it will allow the installation of four anti-ballistic missile launchers on Thursday at a US base operating in the country, as military safeguards are boosted in the wake of North Korea's most powerful nuclear test to date.
Sunday's nuclear test was estimated to have been approximately eight times more powerful than the nuclear bomb detonated over the Japanese city of Hiroshima in August 1945.
US Forces Korea will position the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) launchers at a base in Seongju, about 300 kilometres south of Seoul, the Yonhap news agency reported Wednesday, citing South Korea's Defence Ministry.
They will be in addition to THAAD launchers that have been installed in South Korea since March, to the objection of China and North Korea.
US President Donald Trump left open the possibility of military action against North Korea on Wednesday, even as he said it was not his "first choice."
"We're going to see what happens. We'll see what happens. Certainly, that's not our first choice, but we will see what happens," Trump told reporters as he left for a trip to North Dakota.
China, an ally of the regime in North Korea, said Wednesday it opposed South Korea's deployment of the THAAD missile defence system.
The deployment "would not solve security concerns" and would "seriously undermine the strategic balance of the region," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said.
Geng called for South Korea and the US to "immediately stop the deployment process" and remove the equipment or risk exacerbating tensions on the peninsula.
Trump spoke Wednesday with Chinese President Xi Jinping about the situation in North Korea and said afterwards that he believed Xi "agrees with me 100 per cent."
"He doesn't want to see what's happening there, either. We had a very, very frank and very strong phone call."
Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated on Wednesday that the nuclear stand-off could not be solved by sanctions and called for dialogue, even as he acknowledged that North Korea's nuclear programme violates UN Security Council resolutions and said Moscow does not recognize a nuclear North Korea.
Putin had previously said he was opposed to the new UN sanctions package against Pyongyang currently under consideration.
"It is clear that it is impossible to solve the Korean Peninsula's problems by only sanctions and pressure," Putin said Wednesday at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, according to TASS state news agency.
"We should not succumb to emotions and drive North Korea into a corner," Putin reportedly said following his talks with South Korean President Mr Moon Jae In.

Thursday, September 7th 2017
dpa correspondents

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