US ASKS UN TO CUT OFF OIL TO NORTH KOREA




İrem Uzun –TDO- On September 6, The United States asked the United Nations to put an oil embargo on North Korea and freeze the assets of leader Kim Jong Un, in response to Pyongyang's sixth and biggest nuclear test. It aims to cut off revenue to Kim's regime.

UN proposal includes not only a ban on oil and gas supplies to North Korea, but also it suggests that textile exports and to payments made to North Korean guest workers should be ceased, Kim should be added to a UN sanctions blacklist, subjecting him to a global travel ban, along with four other North Korean officials. The state-owned airline, Air Koryo, should also be hit by an assets freeze along with the Korean People's Army and eight other groups linked to the government, the military and the ruling party. Countries should be authorized to "use all necessary means" to seize and inspect North Korean cargo vessels on the UN sanctions list. Nine North Korean ships would be added the blacklist, draft resolution offers.

China and Russia have been long being reluctant to take measures. China has been worried that it could trigger instability or a refugee exodus on its border and Russia was concerned a block of fuel oil supplies would hurt civilians and hospitals, worsen the humanitarian crisis. US President Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping held a phone call and in a call Trump emphasized that military action against North Korea was not his "first choice,” he pushed for a diplomatic option.

Russia exports a negligible amount of oil to North Korea - the number is estimated about 40,000 tons a year. Therefore, experts say an embargo would be devastating for North Koreans. In such a case, Kim's government would immediately restrict supplies to private citizens, it added, and a ban would have "little or no immediate impact" on the North's army or its missile and nuclear programs. They would do everything to cope with the resource shortage but never abolish their nuclear programme. So, would the UN embargo discourage or trigger North Korea? The answer is obviously controversial.