Pyongyang warns Washington over United Nations sanctions push

In a step which comes across as China's strongest measure against North Korea's nuclear-armed ally, the biggest banks in the nation have suspended financial transactions for North Koreans, employees reportedly told AFP. "But those sanctions are nothing compared to what ultimately will have to happen", he added, without giving details.

The Foreign Ministry claimed the resolution against North Korea following its sixth nuclear test on September 3 was "fabricated" by the United States in an attempt to deprive it of its legitimate right for self-defense. Almost 80 percent went to China.

North Korea was condemned globally for conducting its sixth nuclear test on Sept 3, which it claimed was of an advanced hydrogen bomb.

Instead of banning oil imports altogether, the sanctions authorized an annual cap of 2 million barrels of refined petroleum products to North Korea.

Sanctions Resolution 2375 also cuts back oil exports to the regime by 30 percent.

The draft resolution also bans North Korea's textile exports, the country's second-largest export sector after coal and other minerals which were targeted in a previous round of sanctions in August.

The new United Nations sanctions are an attempt to starve the country of fuel and income for its weapons programmes.

And in a separate measure that will not take effect immediately, countries will be required not to renew contracts for an estimated 93,000 North Korean guest workers who labor overseas.

The respected 38 North website in the United States raised its estimate for the yield from the explosion, which Pyongyang says was a hydrogen bomb small enough to fit onto a missile, to around 250 kilotons - more than 16 times the size of the device that devastated Hiroshima in 1945. South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon had earlier warned that Kim would launch an intercontinental ballistic missile around the regime's founding anniversary on September 9.

"We regret to note that the DPRK continues relentlessly violating the resolutions adopted by the Security Council, and this inevitably leads to greater implications for the country and its leaders", Kazakhstan's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Kairat Umarov said. If they can cancel, we let them cancel.

"The US needs to switch from isolation to communication in order to end an "endless loop" on the Korean Peninsula, where "nuclear and missile tests trigger tougher sanctions and tougher sanctions invite further tests", it said".

He said that this is one of the first times that the UN Security Council have been using their new strategy of targeting parts of a country's economy with their measures against them.

South Korea says it has found a small amount of radioactive element from air samples it collected following North Korea's latest nuclear test. "The U.S. should be fully aware that as long as it persists with intense political, economic and military confrontation with the DPRK in defiance of its repeated stern warning, the former will never be able to avoid its permanent extinction", it said. Are there any indications that the Trump administration is ready for some diplomacy on North Korea?

"We have lived under United States sanctions for decades". But we have acquired everything we wanted to. We hope it doesn't come to that.

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