North Korea threatens USA with 'greatest pain' after United Nations sanctions

North Korea threatens USA with 'greatest pain' after United Nations sanctions

The United States wants the Security Council to impose an oil embargo on the North, halt its key export of textiles and subject leader Kim Jong Un to financial and travel ban, according to a draft resolution seen by Reuters.

That would mean North Korea imports almost 2.2 million barrels a year in petroleum products, so the 2 million barrel cap in the resolution would represent a 10 percent cut.

North Korea has made major advances in its nuclear weapons program despite previous United Nations sanctions and other measures aimed at punishing it for violating resolutions that ban its use of such technology.

The measures agreed to by the 15-member Security Council also cap crude oil exports at current levels and limit refined petroleum sales to two million barrels annually.

The resolution asks countries around the world to inspect ships going in and out of North Korea's ports (a provision put in place by the Security Council in 2009) but does not authorize the use of force for ships that do not comply, as the Trump administration had originally proposed.

After several days of negotiations on the resolution, Washington dropped several measures to win the support of Russian Federation and China, including a bid for an oil embargo and the blacklisting of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the national airline.

"If it agrees to stop its nuclear programme, it can reclaim its future".

Chinese President Xi Jinping had invited Trump to visit China during their meeting in April in Palm Beach, Florida.

Washington has said military action remains an option in dealing with North Korea and threatened to cut economic ties with countries that continue to trade with the it.

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"In case the USA eventually does rig up the illegal and unlawful "resolution" on harsher sanctions, the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) shall make absolutely sure that the U.S. pays a due price", its state-run Korean Central News Agency said, citing a statement by the ministry of foreign affairs that used its formal country name.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said on Monday North Korea is on a "reckless path" with its continued nuclear and missile provocations in defiance of worldwide condemnation.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley said the tough new measures were a message to Pyongyang that "the world will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea", but she also held out the prospect of a peaceful resolution to the crisis.

"European Council on Foreign Relations UN expert Richard Gowan said the USA had "rather predictably been mugged by reality" during the most recent negotiations" on sanctions.

Traditionally, the United States has discreetly negotiated with China on any North Korea sanctions before expanding talks to the full council once the five veto powers have agreed. Haley has dismissed it as insulting.

But the USA official said North Korea now receives about 4.5 million barrels of refined petroleum products, which would mean a more than 50 percent cut.

He said that both countries "believe there are other things that have to happen, including some that the Trump administration won't like".

North Korea's Foreign Ministry issued a statement early Monday saying it was watching the United States' moves closely and warned that it was "ready and willing" to respond with measures of its own.

"The forthcoming measures by DPRK [the Democratic Republic of Korea] will make the USA suffer the greatest pain it has ever experienced in its history", he told a United Nations conference in Geneva.

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