Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Trump: N. Korea Sanctions 'Small Step,' Warns of More

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Trump: N. Korea Sanctions 'Small Step,' Warns of More

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump said Tuesday new U.N. sanctions "are nothing compared to what ultimately will have to happen" to stop North Korea's nuclear march. U.S. officials showed Congress satellite images of illicit trade to highlight the challenge of getting China and Russia to cut off commerce with the rogue nation.

The U.N. Security Council's new restrictions could further bite into North Korea's meager economy after what Kim Jong Un's authoritarian government says was a hydrogen bomb test Sept. 3. The world body on Monday banned North Korean textile exports, an important source of hard currency, and capped its imports of crude oil.

The measures fell short of Washington's goals: a potentially crippling ban on oil imports and freezing the international assets of Mr. Kim and his government.

"We think it's just another very small step - not a big deal," Mr. Trump said. "But those sanctions are nothing compared to what ultimately will have to happen." He did not elaborate.

Despite its limited economic impact, the new sanctions succeed in adding further pressure on Pyongyang without alienating Moscow and Beijing. The U.S. needs the support of both of its geopolitical rivals for its current strategy of using economic pressure and diplomacy - and not military options - for getting North Korea to halt its testing of nuclear bombs and the missiles for delivering them.

Mr. Trump said it was "nice" to get a 15-0 vote at the U.N.

But underscoring the big questions about Chinese and Russian compliance, senior U.S. officials told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday that effective enforcement by both of the North's neighbors and trading partners will be the acid test of whether sanctions work.

The U.N. has adopted multiple resolutions against North Korea since its first nuclear test explosion in 2006, banning it from arms trading and curbing exports of commodities it heavily relies on for revenue. That has have failed to stop its progress toward developing a nuclear-tipped missile that could soon range the American mainland.

Briefing the U.S. lawmakers, Treasury Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing Marshall Billingslea displayed satellite photos to demonstrate North Korea's deceptive shipping practices. …

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