Tensions between the United States and North Korea have ratcheted up after the sixth and most powerful nuclear test conducted by Pyongyang on September 3 prompted the United Nations Security Council to impose further sanctions on Tuesday.
It was the ninth sanctions resolution unanimously adopted by the council since 2006 over North Korea's ballistic missile and nuclear programs.
U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday that the latest United Nations sanctions are just another "very small step" and "nothing compared to" what will happen in dealing with North Korea's nuclear and missile programs. "Unfortunately, I can not assure the Committee today that we have seen sufficient evidence of China's willingness to truly shut down North Korean revenue flows, expunge the North Korean illicit actors from its banking system, and expel the North Korean middlemen and brokers who are establishing webs of front companies".
Representatives from China and Russian Federation are warning the United States and its allies against any form of military action in the Korean Peninsula after supporting watered-down sanctions on North Korea.
But underscoring the big questions about Chinese and Russian compliance, senior USA officials told the House Foreign Affairs Committee today that effective enforcement by both of the North's neighbors and trading partners will be the acid test of whether sanctions work.
State Department and Treasury Department officials testified to the House Foreign Affairs Committee about the US pressure campaign against North Koreas rapid progress toward a nuclear weapon that could strike America.
Russia's United Nations ambassador, Vasily Nebenzya, said on September 11 that Moscow supports the new sanctions because "leaving nuclear tests without a firm reaction would be wrong".
It no longer proposes blacklisting Kim and reduces sanctions on oil and gas, a draft reviewed by Reuters shows.
That was despite a more forceful diplomatic tone on the crisis and warnings on the scale and immediacy of the threat from U.S. President Donald Trump's new ambassador to NATO, France's defence minister and the alliance's deputy head.
"We will now apply the United Nations sanctions as we have done in the past", Mugereny told a plenary session of European parliamentarians in Strasbourg.
Seoul's spy agency said last week that North Korea could fire an intercontinental ballistic missile on a standard trajectory toward the Pacific Ocean around that date. "If they can not, we will not let them use it", the staffer added. "We are closing in on North Korea's trade representatives", he said. The world body on Monday banned North Korean textile exports, an important source of hard currency, and capped its imports of crude oil.
That included a June 29 designation of the Bank of Dandong, a regional Chinese bank, which is believed to help North Korea access the USA and worldwide financial systems.
Kim Kwang-Jin, a former North Korean finance worker in Singapore, said the insurance company he worked for sent money directly to the Dear Leader.
The original US draft would also have frozen the assets of North Korea's state-owned airline Air Koryo, the Korean People's Army and five other powerful military and party entities.