China pledges to crackdown on illicit trade with North Korea


China pledges to crackdown on illicit trade with North Korea

"We have to calm down the hot heads", Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters at the United Nations, where world leaders gathered this week for the annual U.N. General Assembly.

Kim said he would consider the "highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history" against the United States and that Mr Trump's comments only confirmed his own nuclear program was "the correct path".

Hours later, Kim's foreign minister told reporters in NY that Pyongyang could launch a nuclear missile test in response.

China is limiting its oil exports to North Korea to comply with new sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council last week, which include fuel import restrictions.

The Russian minister said he had no new initiatives to bring the two sides together, explaining that he believes "the potential" for the Russian-Chinese freeze-for-freeze proposal "is not yet exhausted".

In response, Trump said on Twitter: "Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who is obviously a madman who doesn't mind killing or starving his people, will be tested like never before!"

Trump said he had signed an executive order allowing sanctions against "individuals and companies that finance and facilitate trade with North Korea".

A senior U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Washington was taking Kim's threat seriously and added that any atmospheric test would be a "game-changer". "There has been a huge amount of such trade, even benefiting from government support, and it has had a big influence on the lives of ordinary North Koreans". "Let us not fail this time".

In the past, he has reiterated China's intention to carry out the terms of the UN Security Council's resolution on sanctions against North Korea, but this time was exceptional in that he added the crackdown on smuggling.

There have been concerns about the stability of the nuclear test site since the September 3 test. Website 38 North said satellite imagery taken after that test appeared to show landslides atop the site that were more numerous and widespread than after the previous five tests. The North Korean army's artillery, though outdated, can cause massive numbers of casualties in South Korea as well. "I will surely and definitely take the mentally-deranged dotard with fire", the young dictator stated.

In today's rare direct statement, Mr Kim said the U.S. president would face "results beyond his expectation", without specifying what action North Korea would take next.

CHANG: That's President Donald Trump speaking Tuesday before the U.N. General Assembly just 16 days after North Korea's latest nuclear test and less than a week after North Korea launched a ballistic missile over Japan.

North Korea in recent weeks detonated its sixth nuclear bomb and has test-fired intercontinental missiles - saying it needs to defend itself against hostility from the United States and its allies.

Petroleum exports for use in the North's ballistic missile programme or other activities banned by United Nations sanctions also are prohibited, the Commerce Ministry said.