US calls for Monday vote on new North Korea sanctions

US calls for Monday vote on new North Korea sanctions

Mr Putin said he believes U.S. president Donald Trump's administration is willing to defuse tensions over North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

Asked if he was considering military action, the president offered a cautious response, saying "Certainly that's not our first choice".

The official said the United States is anxious about a rising threat of "miscalculation" by North Korea, which may think the warnings of USA force are hollow.

Mr Trump noted that he spoke to King Salman of Saudi Arabia by phone on Wednesday, describing their relationship as "very great" and calling him "a friend of mine".

Mattis added that "We are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea, but as I said, we have many options to do so". "He doesn't want to see what's happening there, either", Trump told reporters.

"We made clear that we have the ability to defend ourselves and our allies, South Korea and Japan, from any attack", Mattis said of the USA military.

The 13-page draft condemns North Korea's September 2 hydrogen bomb test and its "flagrant disregard" of numerous previous Security Council resolutions that prohibit Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile activities.

On Sunday, North Korea announced it had successfully conducted its sixth weapon test, which, according to readings of the tremors, appeared to be the most powerful weapon Pyongyang has tested.

Energy from the underground explosion was about six times stronger than the last test a year ago, South Korea's weather agency said.

The United States called on the U.N. Security Council to vote on increased sanctions against North Korea after its most recent nuclear test. Two launchers had already been deployed in April.

South Korean national flags hang on a barbed-wire fence near the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas in Paju, South Korea, August 14, 2017.

Putin Says At This Point, Sanctions Against North Korea Are 'Useless'
Putin: North Korea crisis may be 'impossible' to solve

The news also prompted a demonstration by about 400 residents near the Seongju base, about 300 kilometers south of Seoul.

Earlier this week, South Korean intelligence sources detected evidence that preparations were underway at a test site.

Gallup also said 59 percent of respondents were against the idea of the United States attacking North Korea first should North Korean provocations continue, while 33 percent said it should.

Mattis reassured both allies that the USA commitment to the defense of the countries "remains ironclad" and he promised Japan "to enhance its ballistic missile defense capabilities", according to Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday he thought the North Korea crisis would not escalate into a large-scale conflict involving nuclear weapons, predicting that common sense would prevail. "We can solve this problem through diplomatic means".

The push for a green light for military action was included in a sweeping USA draft Security Council resolution that would ban Pyongyang's export of oil, liquid gas, and textiles, and forbid the employment of North Korean laborers, who are required to send home a big chunk of their earnings. Most of Russia's exports to North Korea are oil, coal and refined products.

The US has set aside for now consideration of terminating its trade agreement with South Korea, a senior administration official said on Wednesday.

It has said it makes no sense to impose additional sanctions that would starve the North Korean economy into submission.

Additionally, the text proposes five individuals and seven entities for asset freezes and travel bans as well for the individuals.

The draft text reaffirms worldwide support for a peaceful, diplomatic and political solution to the situation.

China and Russian Federation, two of the five veto-wielding permanent members of the council, hold the key to whether North Korea will face stricter sanctions.

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