A day after North Korea again defied nuclear sanctions to test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the United States has urged China to cut off crude oil shipments to the country. China is North Korea’s largest trade partner and the move aims to cripple cripple Pyongyang’s economy.
US President Donald Trump spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping over the phone and said, “we have come to the point that China must cut off the oil from North Korea,” said Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the United Nations while quoting the American President.
“That would be a pivotal step in the world’s effort to stop this international pariah,” Trump is said to have told Xi.
In an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council the US again threatened to completely destroy North Korea if it perceived any real threat from Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
“The dictator of North Korea made a choice yesterday that brings the world closer to war, not farther from it…If war comes, make no mistake: The North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed,” Haley warned the UNSC.
The US also urged all countries to isolate North Korea by cutting off trade and diplomatic ties with it.
Haley said that North Korea’s action “demands that countries further isolate the Kim regime.” She also urged the Security Council to take away North Korea’s voting rights at the United Nations.
The UNSC emergency meeting was called at the request of the United States, Japan and South Korea to consider next steps after three rounds of sanctions adopted in the past year failed to push North Korea to change course.
On Wednesday, Pyongyang tested its third ICBM — which it claimed was capable of striking anywhere in the United States — snapping a two-month pause in missile launches.
(With inputs from agencies)