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EDITORIAL: Post-sanction diplomacy faces another vital test with N. Korea

13 Setiembre 2017

The diminutive despot - who measures 5ft 5ins tall -was mobbed by grasping female teachers at a state-ordered PR event in Pyongyang.

The draft resolution is considerably watered down from what the Americans put forward a week ago, and follows intense negotiations with Russia and China, which both have veto powers in the council.

Prior to this activity, four wallets on Yapizon, a South Korean cryptocurrency exchange were compromised on 22 April, although FireEye says there is no indication of North Korea involvement with this.

"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.

They're in for a disappointment because the second thing we know about North Korea is that it has weathered a series of Security Council sanctions resolutions, doesn't fear them, and cares not a whit about international opprobrium.

"My hope is the regime will hear the message loud and clear and it will choose a different path", US disarmament ambassador Robert Woods told the Geneva forum. Even the possibility of a military strike on Japan marks a significant deterioration in the regional political environment, and Trump seems to be ignorant of the consequences - or worse, willing to disregard them.

The resolution instead bans trade in textiles, cuts off natural gas shipments to North Korea, places a ceiling on deliveries of refined oil products and caps crude oil shipments at current levels.

The report also said North Korea had been rerouting coal to other countries including Malaysia and Vietnam, and continued to export iron ore and steel products to China, Egypt, France, India, Ireland and Mexico.

In an earlier bombastic statement from KCNA, the official media channel for the despotic regime, North Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs dubbed Trump's administration "gangsters".

On Friday American and Japanese warplanes carried out military drills amid a widely expected upcoming nuclear test from Kim.

The latest package of sanctions includes a ban on textile imports and a limited oil embargo.

Seoul welcomed the resolution, calling it a "grave warning that (North Korea's) continued provocations will only intensify its diplomatic isolation and economic pressure".

North Korea has said the United States will "suffer the greatest pain" over its role in bringing forth the latest sanctions on Pyongyang. The spike in activity began soon after the U.S. said it planned to ratchet up sanctions against North Korea. Indeed, Sino-Japanese tensions show no sign of subsiding - not an encouraging development when the prospect of a nuclear war is more real than ever.

Special forces teams have been targeting Kim's psyche for a while and with some degree of effectiveness.

The North has kept its oil imports statistics secret, and the official statistics of China, which supplies most crude oil for the North, showed "zero" for many years.

EDITORIAL: Post-sanction diplomacy faces another vital test with N. Korea