Fri, Dec 01, 2017 - Page 1 News List

US demands China cut oil to N Korea after new launch

CHINA, RUSSIA DEMUR:The UN Security Council envoys from Moscow and Beijing refused to put all the blame for the missile tensions on North Korea

Bloomberg

A photograph released by the North Korean Central News Agency yesterday shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at an undisclosed location on Tuesday giving an order to test fire a Hwasong-15 rocket.

Photo: EPA-EFE / North Korean Central News Agency

The US demanded that China cut off all oil exports to North Korea after the country’s latest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test, warning that Washington would force action if Beijing fails to do so.

US President Donald Trump called Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) “and told him that we have come to the point that China must cut off the oil from North Korea,” US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said at an emergency session of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday.

While saying “our hopes are that China will show leadership and follow through,” Haley issued a warning: “China can do this on its own, or we can take the oil situation into our own hands.”

Pyongyang launched an ICBM early on Wednesday — its third this year.

The Security Council meeting was injected with new urgency as experts concurred with North Korea’s boast that the test showed its missiles could now reach anywhere in the US.

Haley did not specify how the US would stop oil exports to Kim Jong-un’s regime, saying only that the missile launch “brings the world closer to war, not farther from it.”

While the US does not seek war with North Korea, “if war comes, make no mistake: the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed,” Haley said.

Trump indicated yesterday morning that Beijing’s effort to influence Kim had so far failed.

“The Chinese Envoy, who just returned from North Korea, seems to have had no impact on Little Rocket Man,” Trump tweeted, using a mocking name to refer to Kim. “Hard to believe his people, and the military, put up with living in such horrible conditions. Russia and China condemned the launch.”

Trump said in a tweet on Wednesday said that he had told Xi “additional major sanctions will be imposed on North Korea today.”

By the end of the day no new sanctions had been announced, although Haley’s warning might have conveyed the president’s intended message.

Envoys at the Security Council fell into familiar camps, with the US, the UK and Japan on one side, placing full blame for tensions on North Korea, while China and Russia spread blame more widely.

Russian Ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia questioned whether the US really wanted a peaceful solution on the Korean Peninsula, saying recently announced military drills had squandered hopes for talks during a lull in North Korean activity.

Such moves raise questions “about the sincerity of Washington” when the US says it wants a peaceful solution, he said.

Chinese Deputy Ambassador to the UN Wu Haitao (吳海濤) again offered a proposal that the US has repeatedly rejected: that the North freeze its nuclear activity in exchange for the US and the South suspending military drills.

In Moscow yesterday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the main question now is finding a solution to the crisis rather then cutting all ties with Pyongyang.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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