U.S. pushes Asian nations on North Korea

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The U.N. Security Council on Saturday unanimously adopted a resolution to impose the most punishing sanctions yet against North Korea over its repeated defiance of a ban on testing missiles and nuclear bombs. This year, Pyongyang was estimated to earn $251 million from iron and iron ore exports, $113 million from lead and lead ore exports, and $295 million from fish and seafood exports, the diplomat said.

It adds new sanctions designations against North Korean individuals and entities, and bans countries from allowing in additional numbers of North Korean labourers.

Foreign ministers from Asia-Pacific countries are having difficulties issuing a unified statement about North Korea's tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles and territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

The Security Council has already imposed six rounds of sanctions that have failed to halt North Korea's drive to improve its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons capabilities.

Under the resolution's provisions, all exports of North Korean coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood will be prohibited.

"What we think we've seen today in the way of cooperation, which we have seen significant steps taken by China to increase pressure on North Korea - frankly, unprecedented steps", Ms Thornton said.

Australia will slap travel bans and financial sanctions on several people and businesses as part of broader global actions against North Korea. China and Russian Federation voted with us. North Korea has claimed that the latest missile could carry a large nuclear warhead and target any part of the U.S. And experts believe that indeed the North's missile program has accelerated dramatically in recent months, putting it far ahead of previous timelines for the regime to have a reliable ICBM.

McMaster continued: "So what we have to do is - is everything we can to - to pressure this regime, to pressure Kim Jong Un and those around him such that they conclude it is in their interest to denuclearize".

Even as the top USA diplomat seeks to ratchet up the pressure, he threw an olive branch to North Korea during remarks to the press on Tuesday: "We hope that at some point, they will begin to understand that and that we would like to sit and have a dialogue with them about the future that will give them the security they seek", he said.

Neither oil nor new air restrictions are included in the resolution.

A few hours later, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that Trump commended the Security Council for its action and appreciated the cooperation of China and Russian Federation in passing the resolution. She also said they would give North Korea's leaders "a taste of the deprivation they have chosen to inflict on the North Korean people".

Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said Moscow hopes Tillerson's assurances "would be clear that the United States is not seeking to dismantle the existing. situation (in North Korea) or to force to reunite the country or militarily intervene in the country". "It was not a good day for North Korea".

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