N Korea hit with new United Nations sanctions over nuclear test

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The United Nations Security Council unanimously approved on Monday new sanctions against North Korea that bans it from importing all natural gas liquids and condensates.

Following North Korea's country's sixth and most powerful nuclear test on September 3, two senior NATO diplomats told Reuters that protection against the North Korean threat was only beginning to be considered at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

North Korea's foreign ministry said: "The world will witness how North Korea tames the United States gangsters by taking a series of actions tougher than they have ever envisaged".

"The North Korean regime has not yet passed the point of no return", said Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the UN. "They give us a much better chance to halt the regime's ability to fuel and finance its nuclear and missile programs, but we all know these steps only work if all nations implement them completely and aggressively".

Hackers linked to North Korea are ramping up attempts to steal bitcoin in order to bring in money for Kim Jong Un's regime, a top cybersecurity firm says.

If the idea is to ratchet up the pressure incrementally until the point where Mr Kim decides to unilaterally disband his nuclear and missile programmes and call for talks, we could be in for a very long wait, during which time his scientists will be pressing ahead with all urgency to ideal their nuclear capable ICBMs. "If it proves it can live in peace, the world will live in peace with it", Haley added.

Infact, both China and Russian Federation have proposed a freeze-for-freeze stance, where North Korea can be asked to curb its nuclear program in return of USA and South Korea stopping their military practices.

China might oppose the U.S. throwing its weight around with "the long arm of jurisdiction" but it would prefer to cut lose some North Koreans than face economic turmoil at home and overseas.

Chinese President Xi Jinping had invited Trump to visit China during their meeting in April in Palm Beach, Florida.

"The textile ban, inspections paragraphs, and joint ventures language are strong", he added.

Textiles were North Korea's second-biggest export after coal and other minerals in 2016, totalling $752 million, according to data from the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency.

N Korea hit with new United Nations sanctions over nuclear test
N Korea hit with new United Nations sanctions over nuclear test

As Bloomberg's Yuji Nakamura and Sam Kim report, cybersecurity outfit FireEye has traced hacks of South Korean bitcoin and ethereum exchanges to North Korean operators.

To placate the United States and signal displeasure with North Korea, China voted for the latest sanctions even as it insisted on watering them down to let Kim Jong-un know that China will not let him fall.

The sanctions were welcomed by Japan, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe telling local media Tuesday they impose "an unprecedented high level of pressure on North Korea".

Restrictions on remittance-sending North Koreans working overseas will be lifted, as will investigations on North Korean ships suspected of carrying forbidden cargo.

One company, Velmur, is officially a real estate company in Singapore, but Justice accused it of "facilitating the laundering of funds for North Korea financial facilitators and sanctioned entities", in a complaint filed last month, which notes that Velmur lacks a headquarters, offices and a website, and "bears the hallmarks of a front company".

Haley last week called the proposal "insulting" and said the USA has maintained that North Korea needs to halt their activities before talks can take place.

Han accused the USA administration of being "fired up for political, economic, and military confrontation", and of being "obsessed with the wild game of reversing the DPRK's development of nuclear force which has already reached the completion phase".

The comments Tuesday came as North Korea faced renewed criticism at the Geneva-based body of its recent ballistic missile and nuclear weapons tests.

Both Beijing and Moscow had strong words for Washington.

That warning follows reported remarks from China's and Russia's ambassadors to the United Nations on Monday, in which the two countries warned the USA against "the four nos": No government change, no government collapse, no accelerated reunification and no military deployment north of the 38th parallel dividing the Korean Peninsula. Even now Beijing fails to exploit the cracks that have emerged between President Donald Trump and South Korea's President Moon Jae-in because of its loathing for Thaad.

With fresh United Nations sanctions and bitcoin's skyrocketing value, "the potential windfall from these attacks has risen accordingly", Boland said.

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