North Korea condemns United Nations sanctions, may be preparing 'response' cyberattack

Cheryl Sanders
September 13, 2017

"North Korea appears to have given a less-than-threatening reaction in response to the weakened resolution", said Koh Yu-hwan, a professor at Dongguk University in Seoul.

U.S. ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said the resolution aimed to hit "North Korea's ability to fuel and fund its weapons program".

But such measures did little to change North Korea's behavior.

"My delegation condemns in the strongest terms and categorically rejects the latest illegal and unlawful U.N. Security Council resolution", North Korean Ambassador Han Tae Song told the U.N. -sponsored Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, according to Reuters.

The new measures target major goods that North Korea buys and sells, but they don't go as far as the US wanted.

North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un
KCNA KIM JONG-UN North Korea's leader signs the order for his latest weapon – the H-bomb

The Security Council was poised on Monday to vote on weakened sanctions to punish North Korea for its nuclear and missile programmes after a week of negotiations that pitted the U.S. against China and Russian Federation.

The United Nations does not define sanctions in its charter, but they are understood to be restrictions imposed on activities that relate to particular countries, goods and services, or persons and entities.

China's United Nations ambassador, Liu Jieyi, said Beijing has been making "unremitting efforts" to denuclearize and maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

It followed up with a sixth nuclear test on September 3, its largest to date, which North Korea said was a hydrogen bomb small enough to fit onto a missile. But on Sunday the North warned that it would inflict the "greatest pain and suffering" on the United States, in the event of tougher worldwide sanctions.

"The Chinese side will never allow conflict or war on the peninsula", Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a statement, Bloomberg News reported.

But with Berlin, Paris and London potentially within striking distance of North Korea's missiles from next year, officials say the US -led alliance's system needs more radars and special interceptors to destroy a rocket from Pyongyang.

"This is a compromise in order to get everybody on board", French U.N. Ambassador Francois Delattre said of the draft ahead of the vote.

The resolution bans all North Korean textile exports. Almost 80 per cent went to China. The new sanctions impose a ban on North Korea's textile exports and caps crude-oil exports to North Korea. China, though, has been reluctant to shut off its oil pipeline to North Korea or undertake any measures which could lead to a failed state on its border.

"The North Koreans have a long history of being proliferators and sharing their knowledge, their technology, their capacities around the world", Pompeo said in a Fox News interview on Monday.

Haley addressed the question of how to enforce the sanctions, saying it would present a challenge but expressing optimism given Chinese cooperation on the resolution.

The measure is unlikely to have a significant impact on the North Korean military or nuclear weapons program, according to a report Tuesday by the Nautilus Institute, a think tank that specializes in energy issues. In June, the USA designated the Bank of Dandong, a regional Chinese bank, as a "primary money laundering concern" over its alleged help to North Korea in accessing the US and global financial systems. It also prohibits North Korean imports of liquefied natural gas and condensates.

"This ban will eventually starve the regime of an additional $US500 million ($623 million) or more in annual revenues".

However, the final draft text calls upon states to inspect vessels on the high seas with the consent of the flag state, if there's information that provides reasonable grounds to believe the ship is carrying prohibited cargo.

Trump told reporters at the start of a meeting with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak that he was pleased Malaysia no longer did business with North Korea, before adding that he had just discussed the United Nations vote with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Russia's strategic concerns would, therefore, make it hard to renegotiate the 1987 Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, something arms experts say would be required if a North Korean missile shield were to be fully effective.

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