Trump says tougher steps needed on North Korea af­ter new U.N. sanc­tions

Stabroek News - - WORLD NEWS -

WASH­ING­TON, (Reuters) - U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump said yes­ter­day the U.N. sanc­tions on North Korea agreed this week were a small step and noth­ing com­pared to what would have to hap­pen to deal with the coun­try’s nu­clear pro­gramme.

U.S. Trea­sury Sec­re­tary Steven Mnuchin warned China, North Korea’s main ally and trad­ing part­ner, that if it did not fol­low through on the new mea­sures, Wash­ing­ton would “put ad­di­tional sanc­tions on them and pre­vent them from ac­cess­ing the U.S. and in­ter­na­tional dol­lar sys­tem.”

An­other se­nior ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial told Reuters any such “sec­ondary sanc­tions” on Chi­nese banks and other com­pa­nies were on hold for now to give time for China to show it was pre­pared to fully en­force the lat­est and pre­vi­ous rounds of sanc­tions. The U.N. Se­cu­rity Coun­cil voted unan­i­mously to boost sanc­tions on North Korea on Mon­day, ban­ning its tex­tile ex­ports and cap­ping fuel sup­plies, draw­ing from Py­ongyang a threat of re­tal­i­a­tion against the United States.

The U.N. ac­tion was trig­gered by North Korea’s sixth and largest nu­clear test this month. It was the ninth Se­cu­rity Coun­cil sanc­tions res­o­lu­tion over North Korea’s bal­lis­tic mis­sile and nu­clear pro­grams since 2006.

A tougher ini­tial U.S. draft was weak­ened to win the sup­port of China and Rus­sia, both of which hold U.N. veto power. Sig­nif­i­cantly, it stopped short of im­pos­ing a full em­bargo on oil ex­ports to North Korea, most of which come from China.

“We think it’s just an­other very small step, not a big deal,” Trump told re­porters at the start of a meet­ing with Malaysian Prime Min­is­ter Na­jib Razak.

“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,” said Trump, who has vowed not to al­low North Korea to de­velop a nu­clear mis­sile ca­pa­ble of hit­ting the United States.

Asked if Trump was con­sid­er­ing other ac­tions, in­clud­ing cut­ting off Chi­nese banks from the U.S. fi­nan­cial sys­tem, White House spokes­woman Sarah San­ders said: “All op­tions are on the ta­ble. The pres­i­dent has also said that he wants ev­ery coun­try in­volved to step up and do more.”

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