U.S. urges United Nations sanctions until NK acts on denuclearisation

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday (Jul 20) urged United Nations member-states to keep tough economic sanctions fully in place on North Korea and maintain pressure on Kim Jong Un to dismantle Pyongyang's nuclear program. Joining them are South Korean ambassador to the United Nations Cho Tae-yul, left, and USA ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley, right.

The United States on Friday welcomed the U.N. Security Council's united support for the fully verified denuclearization of North Korea and pressed China and Russian Federation to strictly enforce U.N. sanctions to get Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons.

The move came ahead of a meeting on Friday between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Security Council in NY on Washington's drive to persuade North Korea to scrap its nuclear and missile programmes.

Experts say years of increasingly tougher United Nations sanctions are having an impact on North Korea.

But almost six weeks after President Trump's summit with Kim Jong Un, it's unclear where those talks stand and how successful the USA diplomatic push has been or even could be. "So do I, as progress is happening", he added without elaborating.

"The meeting was held to prepare for a visit by [Moon] to Pyongyang in the autumn as he had promised at the summit", a government official said, according to Chosunilbo.

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Pyongyang for decades has been pushing a concept of "denuclearization" that bears no resemblance to the American definition, vowing to pursue nuclear development unless Washington removes its 28,500 troops from South Korea and the nuclear umbrella defending South Korea and Japan.

The council previous year adopted three rafts of sanctions targeting North Korea's economy in response to Pyongyang's sixth nuclear test and a series of ballistic missile launches.

Russia's deputy United Nations ambassador, Dmitry Polyansky, said that Pompeo confirmed the U.S.

"This is going to take some time", said Coats. "We and the Security Council and the global community have to support those talks, and the best way to support those talks is to not loosen the sanctions". The U.S. also asked the committee to prevent ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products, which it said is the main smuggling method used by North Korea. Russian Federation and China on July 19, 2018, asked for more time to consider a request from the U.S.to the UN Security Council to halt all deliveries of refined oil products to North Korea, U.S. diplomats said. "We have to see some sort of action".

As for the broader worldwide community, she said, "we ask you to hold tight as we go forward". The scope and scale of that is agreed to.

While Pompeo declared that the U.N. Security Council was "united on the need for final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea, as agreed to by Chairman Kim", he said, "Strict enforcement of sanctions is critical to achieving this goal". Haley is doing heavy lifting in an effort to show the Security Council that North Korea is in "breach" of sanctions that cap the transfers of refined petroleum products at 500,000 barrels a year.

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Trump on Tuesday told reporters there was "no rush" and "no time limit" on denuclearisation negotiations with North Korea.

Pompeo said North Korea is also evading sanctions by smuggling coal by sea and across borders, through cyber thefts and other criminal activities, and by keeping workers in some countries that he didn't name.

Moscow and Beijing said they need additional time to investigate the USA allegations and put a six-month "hold" on the US request.

"If we want to see success, we have to see a response from Chairman Kim and we have to continue to hold the line until that happens". "He has projected a longer time frame, but then it depends on what steps they take within that one period of time that can give us some hope and courage and encouragement that we're on the right track...it's a much more complicated process than most people think". The sanctions committee has what it needs. "We all know it's going forward".

Interested in North Korea?

Those sanctions banned North Korea's exports of raw commodities while severely restricting supplies of oil - vital for the country's military.

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"We abide by all decisions".

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