United States unsure if North Korea can be deterred - Trump administration official

Wang Yi

Wang Yi. File

The United States called for a vote Monday on a U.N. resolution that would impose the toughest-ever sanctions on North Korea, a move that could lead to a showdown with the country's biggest trading partner China and its neighbor Russian Federation.

The United States and other Western countries have asked the UN to consider tough new sanctions on North Korea after its test last week that it said was of an advanced hydrogen bomb.

The US said it would seek a vote Monday on a draft United Nations Security Council resolution on North Korea, as it pushes for fresh sanctions against the regime after its recent nuclear test.

"The UN Security Council is quite clear", Cayetano said.

US officials have said they want tough sanctions to maximize pressure on Pyongyang to agree to negotiations aimed at ending its nuclear and missile tests.

A draft of the USA resolution would bar crude oil shipments to North Korea, ban the nation's exports of textiles and prohibit employment of its guest workers by other countries.

In North Korea, which was marking the nation's founding anniversary Saturday, local media issued fresh calls for a nuclear arms buildup, in defiance of the mounting global sanctions.

United Nations diplomats did not rule out the possibility that China or Russian Federation could veto the measure, but stressed that the USA administration had launched a major push to win approval.

Tension on the Korean peninsula has escalated as the North has stepped up the development of weapons, testing a string of missiles this year, including one flying over Japan, and conducting its sixth nuclear test on Sunday.

President Donald Trump's administration is pushing the Security Council to adopt a united stance as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un seeks the capability to strike the U.S. with a nuclear weapon.

Rycroft said a proposed ban on all oil imports and textile exports, as well as prohibiting North Koreans from working overseas - which helps finance the country's nuclear program - was "a proportionate response" to North Korea's "illegal and reckless behavior".

North Korea already warned Friday the USA will "pay dearly" after its United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley said the regime was "begging for war".

The United States has tentatively concluded that North Korea detonated an H-bomb over the weekend, as the regime has claimed, a senior US administration official said Thursday.

DeThomas agreed that it was unwise to break the unity of the Security Council, but he said the US administration is unlikely to accept "a very watered down approach".

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