Trump: UN ‘Slackers’ march move a start against Macron
WASHINGTON – United States President Donald Trump said yesterday the latest United Nations sanctions on North Korea were only a very small step and nothing compared to what would have to happen to deal with the country’s nuclear programme.
The UN Security Council unanimously voted to boost sanctions on North Korea on Monday, with its profitable textile exports now banned and fuel supplies capped, prompting a traditionally defiant threat of retaliation against the US.
Monday’s decision, triggered by the North’s sixth and largest nuclear test this month, was the ninth such resolution unanimously adopted by the 15-member Security Council since 2006 over North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear programmes.
A tougher initial US draft was weakened to win the support of China, Pyongyang’s main ally and trading partner, and Russia, both of which hold veto power in the council. Significantly, it stopped short of imposing a full embargo on oil exports to North Korea, most of which come from China.
North Korea has threatened the US with the “greatest pain” it has ever suffered following new sanctions imposed by the UN.
Pyongyang’s envoy to the UN accused Washington of opting for “political, economic and military confrontation”.
Trump told reporters at the start of a meeting with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak that he was pleased Malaysia no longer did business with North Korea, before adding that he had just discussed the UN vote with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
“We think it’s just another very small step, not a big deal. ... I don’t know if it has any impact, but certainly it was nice to get a 15-to-nothing vote. But those sanctions are nothing compared to what ultimately will have to happen,” he said without elaborating. Trump has vowed not to allow North Korea to possess a nuclear missile capable of hitting the US.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told a conference earlier yesterday that if China did not follow through on the new sanctions, “we will put additional sanctions on them and prevent them from accessing the U.S. and international dollar system.”
Washington so far has mostly held off on new sanctions against Chinese banks and other companies doing business with North Korea, given fears of retaliation by Beijing and possibly far-reaching effects on the world economy. ( Reuters) PARIS – Tens of thousands of hard-left trade unionists marched through French cities yesterday to protest against President Emmanuel Macron’s labour law reforms, although turnout appeared lower than at demonstrations in previous years.
Hitting back at Macron’s pledge to give no ground to “slackers”, some in Paris carried placards reading: Slacker On Strike, while in Bordeaux demonstrators chanted: “Macron you’re screwed, the slackers are in the streets.”
The Ministry of the Interior said 223 000 protesters turned out across the country, compared with about 400 000 during March 2016’s demonstration.
The Communist Partylinked CGT union put the number of marchers at 400 000. ( Reuters)