Enero 24, 2018

North Korea lashes out over 'vicious' United Nations sanctions

13 Setiembre 2017, 04:59 | Crisanna Felipe

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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. He said that the United States has recently caught North Korea trying to disguise the origin of ships it's using - and added that cracking down on North Korean ship traffic will be crucial to enforcing sanctions.

The original USA draft would have ordered all countries to impose an asset freeze and travel ban on Kim Jong Un and four other top party and government officials.

Moscow and Beijing are two of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council that have shown reluctance to support the tough measures suggested by the USA against North Korea. A USA proposal for a total oil embargo was dropped in exchange for Russian and Chinese support for the measure.

The United States and China "have two fundamentally different purposes", said Joseph Cirincione, president of the Plowshares Fund, a San Francisco-based organization that promotes nuclear nonproliferation.

Both Russia and China reiterated their proposal that the US and South Korea freeze all military drills - which anger North Korea - and asked for a halt in the deployment of the controversial anti-missile system Thaad in exchange for Pyongyang's cessation of its weapons programmes.

"Whenever they are cut off from their primary supplier, they just try to get it from somewhere else", the official said. It said there were also "ties between North Korean operators and a watering hole compromise of a bitcoin news site in 2016, as well as at least one instance of usage of a surreptitious cryptocurrency miner" - which references Kaspersky Lab's finding of a direct link between the Lazarus group banking heist hackers, whereby hackers installed Monero cryptocurrency mining software, and North Korea. The documents described a web of alleged front companies established by Russian citizens for the specific goal of concealing business arrangements with Pyongyang.

The South Korean government praised the latest United Nations sanction resolution, calling on North Korea to stop "trying to test the will of the global community".

Because of its lack of control and secretiveness, bitcoin is a useful tool to accelerate North Korea's military operations. In the past, USA agencies also have tracked shipments of Russian industrial equipment and ores as well as luxury goods.

The brigade-sized unit of between 2,000 and 4,000 soldiers will be established by year's end, The Times reported the defense minister, Song Young-moo, as saying, adding that the military was already "retooling" helicopters and transporting planes to be able to penetrate North Korean airspace at night. The service was temporarily suspended last week because of a financial dispute.

The Trump administration has repeatedly called on China, North Korea's main trading partner and political ally, to put more pressure on Kim to refrain from further testing of nuclear and ballistic missiles.

Washington had sought authorisation for searches by force, which Koo said China and Russian Federation "strongly opposed".

Indeed, the pace of North Korea's missile testing has increased dramatically. The sanctions also place a limit on crude oil exports to the communist regime at current levels.

In August, the Security Council unanimously approved a resolution to impose sanctions meant to cut annual North Korean export income by a third, or $1 billion. He cited Trumps warning last month of “fire and fury” against the North if it makes more threats, and his “shaming” of allies through tweets, which he said undermined USA credibility.

The official Korean News Agency (KCNA) issued a statement to the State Department warning Washington that if it "follows the unjust and unfair decision on severe sanctions, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) will definitely push the United States to pay for it".

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