Chinese Customs officials inspect trucks loaded with goods to and from North Korea
Chinese Customs officials inspect trucks loaded with goods to and from North Korea

US tells China to follow through on North Korea sanctions

CHINA has been warned it could face further sanctions from the United States if it does not abide by new United Nations sanctions placed on Kim Jong-un's regime, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says.

The UN Security Council unanimously voted this week to increase sanctions on Pyongyang after its sixth and largest nuclear test, although the penalties fell short of the sweeping sanctions the Trump administration had demanded.

Russia and China, North Korea's main economic ally, opposed the US's call for an oil embargo and other far-reaching sanctions.

The new penalties include a ban on the sale of natural gas to North Korea and limits the amount of refined petroleum sales to the country to two million barrels per year. China, supplies most of North Korea's crude oil.

"If China doesn't follow these sanctions, we will put additional sanctions on them and prevent them from accessing the US and international dollar system, and that's quite meaningful,” Mr Mnuchin said, adding that "economic warfare works”.

On Monday, US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley cast the new sanctions as a victory and credited Donald Trump's relationship with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping as a reason the 15 council members were able to approve the penalties.

"We don't take pleasure in further strengthening sanctions. We are not looking for war,” Ms Haley said.

In his remarks, China's UN ambassador Liu Jieyi cautioned the US against efforts at "regime change” and the use of military force.

"China will continue to advance dialogue,” he said.

North Korea has since vowed to accelerate its weapons program.

"The adoption of another illegal and evil 'resolution on sanctions' piloted by the US served as an occasion for the DPRK to verify that the road it chose to go down was absolutely right,” the North's foreign ministry said, using the abbreviation for North Korea's formal name, in a statement published by the KCNA news agency.

"The DPRK will redouble the efforts to increase its strength to safeguard the country's sovereignty and right to existence.”



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