The United States formally requested a vote of the U.N. Security Council on Monday of a draft resolution to establish new sanctions against North Korea, according to a statement by the USA mission, released late Friday.
China's official data show that its exports to North Korea of petroleum products, including gasoline and light oil but excluding crude oil, fell 75 percent in three months through July from a year earlier to about 19,700 tons.
"Along with pressure on the North Korean regime to induce it to abandon provocations in the implementation of its nuclear and missile programmes, it is necessary to emphasize and increase the priority of efforts to resume the political process", Lavrov said.
Overseas workers, majority posted in China and Russian Federation, are a key source of revenue for Pyongyang. The initial draft proposed he be subjected to a travel ban and asset freeze along with four other North Korea officials.
"We have been clear in close consultation with the Americans that oil has to be included as an element of sanctions", South Korean foreign minister Kang Kyung-Wha told reporters.
North Korea is entirely dependent on imported fuel oil, most of it from China. From January to June of this year, they exchanged $28.8 million worth of goods in bilateral trade.
While the United States may begin imposing its own unilateral measures against Pyongyang, an global consensus is growing around the need to diplomatically engage the country and tamp down the growing military tensions on the Korean Peninsula, which remains locked in a technical state of war since the 1953 armistice in the U.S. War on Korea.
If approved and enforced, the bans would be crippling for North Korea, as the Trump administration and other governments seek ways to curb the isolated nation's robust nuclear program.
North Korea says its weapons development is vital to stave off the threat of a USA invasion.
Among the provisions that were in a draft proposal, but not the final resolution were a total oil embargo and a freeze on the assets of both North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the national airline. Both are violations of United Nations resolutions, but Pyongyang claims it must carry them out to build nuclear deterrent against what it sees as US aggression.
Russian President Vladimir Putin also last week raised the possibility of involving North and South Korea in joint projects including the construction of new rail links and energy projects, noting that "creating military atmosphere and raising hysteria is counterproductive and will lead nowhere". "But we don't have a conclusive view on it yet".
In Peru, government officials said North Korea is seriously threatening worldwide peace and security, as well as stability in the world and Northeast Asia.
The Security Council is due to vote in NY on a US-drafted resolution to impose new restrictions on the rogue state following its sixth and largest nuclear test, carried out just over a week ago.
"Yesterday the Washington regime fabricated the most vicious sanctions resolution", Pyongyang's ambassador in Geneva told the UN Conference on Disarmament in the first North Korean reaction to Monday's unanimous vote. Almost 80% of the textile exports went to China.
Rep. Eliot Engel, the committee's top-ranking Democrat, supported the pressure campaign but strongly criticized President Donald Trump's commentary on the North Korean crisis, which he said was making matters worse.