Last Tuesday, the US circulated a draft resolution proposing the toughest-ever United Nations sanctions on North Korea, including a ban on all oil and natural gas exports to the country and a freeze on all foreign financial assets of the government and its leader, Kim Jong Un.
According to Chinese customs data, North Korea imports almost 2.2 million barrels a year in petroleum products, but some USA officials believe the true number is much higher: about 4.5 million barrels.
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.
"Today, we are saying the world will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea".
Specifically, this resolution will result in a 30% decrease in total oil imports by cutting off over 55% of refined petroleum products going to North Korea, the United States official told CNN.
In the wake of the country's sixth nuclear test, North Korea announced that it had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb for its new ICBM, which can effectively strike parts, if not most, of the continental U.S. While it is hard to know for certain, it would appear that the North is "locked and loaded" for intercontinental strikes if it needed to do so.
During tough negotiations, the USA dropped initial demands for a full oil embargo and a freeze on the foreign assets of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un in a bid to win support from China and Russian Federation.
The restrictions bar members of the United Nations from issuing work permits to North Korean labourers, who are a source of revenue to Pyongyang's economy. It has voted unanimously on a new sanctions resolution. It is also a much-needed source of cash, which they send back to their families (though with considerable amounts skimmed off by the North Korean government).
"So this is a very significant tightening up still further of the constraints on the North Korean regime".
It also bans joint ventures with North Korean entities, except for non-commercial public utility infrastructure projects not generating profits, and calls for the inspection of vessels on the high seas, if there are reasonable grounds to believe the cargo of such vessels is prohibited items.
Still, Monday's 15-0 U.N. Security Council vote - for increased restrictions on oil and money not quite as tough as originally proposed by the us - was an important display of worldwide angst regarding North Korea's recently aggressive missile tests.
This ban will eventually starve the regime of an additional United States dollars 500 million or more in annual revenues, she added. Almost 80 per cent went to China.
"This ban will eventually starve the regime of an additional $500 million or more in annual revenues". It also said Macron had expressed France's "solidarity" with Japan.
In a statement published by the official KCNA news agency, North Korea's foreign ministry warned Washington that if it did "rig up the illegal and unlawful "resolution" on harsher sanctions, the DPRK shall make absolutely sure that the United States pays due price".
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. "But further upriver, where press intrusion and interest tends not to be there, we haven't seen the same degree of energetic enforcement".
Before the resolution was voted, North Korea's official news agency quoted the Foreign Ministry as saying the country was "quite ready to use any ultimate means" to retaliate against the U.S. for the sanctions and claiming it had "near-to-completion nuclear capability". For these reasons, a diplomatic solution is preferred.