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Is Trade the Solution to the North Korea Problem?

13 Septembre 2017

Apart from the oil and textile ban, the sanctions have also put a ceiling on the deliveries of refined oil products to Pyongyang and also limit crude oil shipments to the current level. China was the main buyer of the textiles receiving about 80 percent of the total North Korea's exports.

The revised text would ban textile exports from North Korea, but it scrapped demands for a full halt to payments of North Korean laborers working overseas.

The resolution bans all textile exports from the country - an annual revenue blow of around $800 million.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told a conference earlier on Tuesday that if China did not follow through on the new sanctions, "we will put additional sanctions on them and prevent them from accessing the US and global dollar system".

Merkel has said she would be prepared to become involved in a diplomatic initiative to end the North Korean nuclear and missile programs, and suggested that negotiations held to reach the Iran nuclear deal could be a model.

Before the fall of the USSR, North Korea had prioritized mineral mining and trade with fellow communist partners.

It also held Washington responsible for the situation and said it was necessary to establish a "practical equilibrium" with the United States to maintain peace and security in the region.

Recent months have seen an alarming escalation in tensions between the isolated Korean state and the USA, with Pyongyang launching increasingly ambitious missile tests and Mr Trump promising "fire and fury" in response.

China's United Nations ambassador urged the council to adopt the freeze-for-freeze proposal and urged the U.S.to pledge not to seek regime change or North Korea's collapse.

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The measures to punish Pyongyang for its September 3 nuclear test also ban the country from importing natural gas liquids and condensates, and limit the import of refined petroleum products to 2 million barrels a year.

North Korea imports mostly gasoline and diesel fuel from China which are vital to the country's agriculture, transportation and military sectors, according to the EIA.

Along with several other measures, the resolution aims at reducing the North's annual export revenue by $800 million each year, or almost one-quarter, though it remains to be seen how China, North Korea's biggest trading partner, will follow through.

US Permanent Representative Nikki Haley, who proposed a virtual blockade of North Korea but agreed to the watered-down version after negotiations with China and Russian Federation, after the vote said that over 90 per cent of North Korea's exports were now banned when combined with earlier sanctions on iron ore, metals, seafood and coal exports.

In June, the United States slapped sanctions on the Bank of Dandong, a Chinese bank located at the border with North Korea, that it accused of "facilitating millions of dollars of transactions for companies involved in North Korea's WMD (weapons of mass destruction) and ballistic missile programs".

The U.S. had pushed for a complete oil embargo for the latest United Nations punitive measures.

Chinese banks have come under spotlight as a means for North Korea to receive and send funds.

Apart from the US, China, and Russian Federation, the sanctions have also been lauded by South Korea who said that these bans are a proof that Pyongyang's defiance will continue isolating it from other nations.

Is Trade the Solution to the North Korea Problem?