Washington is talking with Beijing about new oil sanctions against North Korea, UN diplomats told AFP. The two are working on a draft resolution that they could present to the UN Security Council soon.
According to the sources, this time the sanctions will target oil product supplies to the rogue state as a way of forcing Pyongyang to stop working on its nuclear missile program. The U.S. initiated the talks, but it remains unclear for now if China will agree to slap more sanctions on its neighbor.
“It’s a big ask to get the Chinese to agree to a further resolution,” one of the UN diplomats said, with others saying it was unlikely that the draft resolution would be ready this week, although some were optimistic that this could happen as soon as tomorrow.
The sanction talks came in response to the latest missile test from Pyongyang, which took place at the end of November and in which the missile flew for about 1000 km before falling into the sea.
Meanwhile, the Telegraph reported there was talk in Washington about a “bloody nose”-style military attack against North Korea. Citing unnamed sources, the daily said there was a dramatic step-up in preparations for a military response to North Korea’s missile tests. Related: Wall Street Returns To U.S. Shale With A Bang
Among the options that are being considered, sources say, is destroying a missile launch site before a launch or destroying weapon stockpiles. “The Pentagon is trying to find options that would allow them to punch the North Koreans in the nose, get their attention and show that we’re serious," one of the Telegraph’s sources, a former security official, said.
Based on talks with a number of U.S. and British security officials, the Telegraph said, it seems that the military option is a much more likely scenario for Washington than most people apparently believe.
The likelihood of the military scenario has grown recently because of worry that the North Koreans have shortened the timeframe for developing a nuclear-capable missile with the range to hit a target in the U.S.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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