As a CBS News Poll shows Americans are increasingly anxious about North Korea’s nuclear weapons program – and President Trump’s ability to handle the threat – we look at how the new United Nations sanctions against Kim Jong Un’s regime are meant to work – and why they may not.
The U.S. -sponsored sanctions approved unanimously Saturday by the U.N. Security Council target already-meager North Korean exports such as coal, iron, lead and seafood, as well as revenue streams such as foreign joint ventures.
Resolution 2371, triggered by North Korea’s tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles on July 4 and 28, is created to cut the country’s annual export revenues by about a third, or $1 billion, through a trade ban on coal and other resources, fisheries, labor and others.
Nikki Haley, ambassador to the U.N. for the United States, which drafted the resolution, said the vote “put the North Korean dictator on notice” and represented a “strong, united step holding North Korea accountable for its behavior”. The United States had to figure out how far China and Russian Federation were willing to go.
On Tuesday, the Washington Post reported that according to the latest USA intelligence assessment, North Korea has “successfully produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles, crossing a key threshold on the path to becoming a full-fledged nuclear power”.
In July, North Korea conducted two tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles in violation of previous UN Security Council resolutions. But he also said it was not as simple as North Korea stopping launches for a few days or weeks. “We must be tough & decisive!” he wrote.
When CBS News visited North Korea in the spring, we watched as Kim unveil a massive new neighborhood of shimmering high rises; his way of showing the world that six previous rounds of United Nations sanctions over more than a decade have not worked.
It was previously thought that North Korea was years away from having nuclear capabilities which made their recent missile launches less troubling.
North Korea has launched more than a dozen test missiles this year.
There was no direct reaction from North Korea to the remarks but in a statement after the U.S. secretary of state made his comments, Pyongyang responded robustly to the new sanctions by saying it would exact “thousands-fold revenge” on America.
“We want to make sure China is continuing to implement fully the sanctions regime”, she said.
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, left, is greeted by his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi prior to their bilateral meeting in the sidelines of the 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and its Dialogue Partners Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017 in Pasay city, Manila.
North Korea has made no secret of its plans to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of striking the United States and has ignored global calls to halt its nuclear and missile programmes.
“It was a very, very good outcome”, added South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha.
Tillerson’s remarks might be an attempt to try another tack by the United States, which also has tried to get Pyongyang’s ally China to use its influence to prevent North Korean leader Kim Jong Un from building a nuclear arsenal.
Wang said that apart from the new sanctions, the resolution also made clear that the six-party talks process, a stalled dialogue mechanism with North Korea that also includes Russian Federation and Japan, should be restarted. But Wang also called on the United States to dial back the tension.
Earlier Pyongyang said it was ready to give Washington a “severe lesson” with its strategic nuclear force in response to any USA military action.
The sanctions also bar countries from employing North Korean laborers commissioned to work overseas.
For Tillerson’s interlocutors worldwide, this is beginning to be a familiar experience: When the top U.S. diplomat meets with counterparts, many are finding that he’s arriving prepared with information on their countries’ connections to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and suggestions on how they can reduce them.