S. Korea proposes cutting off N. Korea oil supply

Seoul: South Korea is pursuing “powerful” punitive measures, including a new United Nations Security Council resolution, in response to Pyongyang’s recent nuclear test, the foreign ministry here said Tuesday, South Korea’s News Agency (Yonhap) said.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in proposed that the U.N. Security Council hold serious discussions about imposing an energy and capital blockade on North Korea, by cutting off oil supplies to Pyongyang coupled with a block of North Korean sources of foreign currency, the South Korean president’s office said.

According to South Korea’s Blue House, President Moon discussed the idea with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, during a phone call.

“It’s time for the U.N. Security Council to seriously consider ways to block North Korea’s sources of foreign currency, including a halt to oil supplies to the North and a ban on its exportation of laborers,” the office quoted Moon as saying in the wake of the 6th North Korean nuclear test.

According to Yonhap, the South Korean leader also said Sunday’s nuclear test “was different from past experiments in size and character, and expressed his heightened concern over North Korea’s claim that it was an H-bomb that can fit atop an intercontinental ballistic missile.”

Putin, who is attending a BRICS emerging economies summit in China, agreed with his South Korean peer and said that North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programme would destroy the international nonproliferation system and pose a “real threat” to regional peace and stability. He also noted that the leaders at the summit had adopted a statement condemning the latest test.

President Moon underscored his commitment to resolving the North Korean nuclear issue diplomatically and peacefully. Putin, in turn, said the leaders at the summit agreed there is only a diplomatic solution to the problem.

During an emergency parliamentary session on the North Korea nuclear problem, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told lawmakers that stopping the oil supply to the North is “one of the important elements” being discussed as part of additional sanctions.

Meanwhile, US Ambassador to UN, Nikki Haley, argued, during a UN Security Council emergency session on Monday, that only the strongest sanctions would enable the problem to be resolved through diplomacy.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel supported the US stance, saying more sanctions are urgently needed to counter North Korea’s “flagrant breach of international conventions”.

Source: Bahrain News Agency

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