Pyongyang branded the sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council "vicious" and vowed revenge. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned North Korea's ally China of repercussions if Beijing does not comply.

N Koreas leader Kim Jong-un at the ballistic rocket launch drill of the Strategic Force of the Korean Peoples Army in undated photo by North Koreas Korean Central News Agency.
N Koreas leader Kim Jong-un at the ballistic rocket launch drill of the Strategic Force of the Korean Peoples Army in undated photo by North Koreas Korean Central News Agency. (Reuters/KCNA/File)

North Korea on Tuesday blasted "vicious" sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council over its latest and most powerful nuclear test, threatening revenge against Washington, who it blamed for leading the charge.

"The forthcoming measures by DPRK [the Democratic Republic of Korea] will make the US suffer the greatest pain it has ever experienced in its history," Pyongyang's ambassador in Geneva told the UN Conference on Disarmament in the first North Korean reaction to Monday's unanimous vote.

The UNSC stepped up sanctions against North Korea on Monday over the country’s sixth and most powerful nuclear test on September 3, imposing a ban on the country’s textile exports and capping imports of crude oil.

US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin on Tuesday said China may face sanctions limiting its access to the US financial system if Beijing does not comply with the sanctions. 

It was the ninth sanctions resolution unanimously adopted by the 15-member council since 2006 over North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear programmes. 

The United States watered down an initial tougher draft resolution to win the support of Russia and Pyongyang ally China.

TRT World spoke to journalists Harry Horton in Washington and Joseph Kim in Seoul for analysis of the newly imposed sanctions.

Textiles were North Korea’s second-biggest export after coal and other minerals in 2016, totalling $752 million, according to data from the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency. 

Nearly 80 percent of the textile exports went to China.

The resolution imposes a ban on condensates and natural gas liquids, a cap of two million barrels a year on refined petroleum products, and a cap on crude oil exports to North Korea at current levels. 

China supplies most of North Korea’s crude.

A US official, familiar with the council negotiations and speaking on condition of anonymity, said North Korea imports some 4.5 million barrels of refined petroleum products annually and four million barrels of crude oil.

Mnuchin warns China of sanctions

Mnuchin said that if China doesn't follow the United Nations sanctions approved on North Korea, he will seek new financial sanctions on Beijing to cut off access to the US financial system.

Mnuchin told a conference broadcast on CNBC that China agreed to "historic" sanctions on North Korea on Monday in a UN Security Council vote.

"If China doesn't follow these sanctions, we will put additional sanctions on them and prevent them from accessing the US and international dollar system, and that's quite meaningful," Mnuchin said. 

Source: Reuters