UNITED NATIONS/SEOUL (Reuters) – The U.N. Security Council is set to vote on Monday on a watered-down U.S.-drafted resolution to impose new sanctions on North Korea over its latest nuclear test, diplomats said, but it was unclear whether China and Russia would support it.
North Korea warned the United States that it would pay a “due price” for spearheading efforts for fresh sanctions for this month’s nuclear test, which followed a series of test missile launches, all in defiance of U.N. sanctions.
A U.S.-drafted resolution originally calling for an oil embargo on the North, a halt to its key exports of textiles and subjecting leader Kim Jong Un to a financial and travel ban have been weakened, apparently to placate Russia and China which both have veto powers, diplomats said.
It no longer proposes blacklisting Kim and relaxes sanctions earlier proposed on oil and gas, a draft reviewed by Reuters shows. It still proposes a ban on textile exports.
North Korea was condemned globally for conducting its sixth nuclear test on Sept 3, which it said was of an advanced hydrogen bomb. NATO head Jens Stoltenberg said at the weekend that North Korea’s “reckless behavior”, pursuing nuclear and missile programs, was a global threat and required a global response.
The tensions have weighed on global markets, but on Monday there was some relief among investors that North Korea did not conduct a further missile test this weekend when it celebrated its founding anniversary.
Still, North Korea denounced efforts by Washington to impose new U.N.-backed sanctions against the country. The North’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said the United States was “going frantic” to manipulate the Security Council over Pyongyang’s nuclear test, which it said was part of “legitimate self-defensive measures.”
“In case the U.S. eventually does rig up the illegal and unlawful ‘resolution’ on harsher sanctions, the DPRK shall make absolutely sure that the U.S. pays due price,” the spokesman said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.
DPRK stands for the North’s formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“The world will witness how the DPRK tames the U.S. gangsters by taking a series of actions tougher than they have ever envisaged,” the unnamed spokesman said.
“The DPRK has developed and perfected the super-powerful thermo-nuclear weapon as a means to deter the ever-increasing hostile moves and nuclear threat of the U.S….