UN Security Council steps up sanctions on defiant North Korea


North Korea on Tuesday blasted "vicious" sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council over its latest and most powerful nuclear test, threatening revenge against Washington, who it blamed for leading the charge.

United States ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, center, raises her hand as she votes yes to levy new sanctions on North Korea during a meeting of the United Nations Security Council concerning North Korea at UN headquarters, in New York City, September 11, 2017.

Pyongyang has staged a series of missile tests in recent months, culminating in an intercontinental ballistic missile that appeared to bring much of the United States mainland into range.

"The North Korean regime has not yet passed the point of no return".

The Chinese banks have yet to freeze the accounts, meaning that North Koreans can still withdraw money from them, but they are now prevented from making deposits or remittances, the sources said Saturday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

China is the largest supplier of crude oil to the North.

The council last month adopted a sanctions resolution imposing a full ban on exports of coal, seafood from North Korea after it carried out an ICBM test. This resolution calls on countries to inspect ships if there are reasonable grounds for a search and only with consent.

The International community condemned North Korea for testing the hydrogen bomb on August 27, marking the sixth time the isolated state has tested a nuclear weapon. The new draft also softens its language on foreign workers and other issues. The weakened language was a nod to Russian Federation, a big user of imported North Korean labor.

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The ban on $950 million a year in textile exports and import of natural gas and the reduction of oil imports by a third would target important parts of the North Korean economy, she said.

The new resolution itself calls for restarting the six-party nuclear talks, which involve the U.S., China, Russia, the two Koreas and Japan.

China had long anxious that an oil cutoff altogether would lead to North Korea's collapse. But the report said the impact would likely be blunted on the military, which probably has enough fuel stockpiled to continue normal operations for the immediate future.

According to the German Foreign Office, there have been no high-level visits to North Korea by German government delegations or trips to Germany by North Koreans at the ministerial level. "It has to be paired with a pragmatic strategy of engagement". Both Russia and China, as permanent members, wield veto power.

The draft had also called for a ban on North Korean overseas laborers, but the approved resolution included some caveats.

Haley further addressed the North Korean regime directly, saying it is not too late to change course.

Billingslea responded by saying China and Russian Federation should both be recognized for supporting the two latest U.N. sanctions, but added that the administration has warned China that if it wishes to avoid further sanctions, such as the ones on its Bank of Dandong, the United States needs to "urgently" see action.