[00:00.00]Members of the United Nations Security Council are considering new sanctions for North Korea in reaction to its sixth and most powerful nuclear test.
[00:12.69]However, experts say the support of China is critical to increase pressure on the government of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
[00:25.17]China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Thursday, “The U.N. Security Council should respond further and take necessary measures.”
[00:36.38]But, Wang said “sanctions and pressure” must be tied to “dialogue and negotiations.”
[00:44.25]China has said that increased restrictions will not ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
[00:51.71]U.S. President Donald Trump spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping about North Korea on Wednesday.
[01:02.67]Trump said Xi agreed on the need to answer North Korea’s nuclear test, saying, “He does not want to see what is happening there either.”
[01:15.18]On Monday, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the 15-member UN Security Council would negotiate a version of a resolution to place new sanctions on North Korea.
[01:32.33]She said the U.S. would seek a vote by Monday.
[01:38.95]On August 5, the UN Security Council approved resolution 2371.
[01:46.78]It came as the result of two long-range missile tests that North Korea carried out in July.
[01:56.05]The UN Security Council barred North Korea from exporting coal, iron, lead and seafood, along with other restrictions.
[02:08.82]The measures were aimed at cutting about one-third of North Korea's $3 billion in export income.
[02:19.13]However, now there are calls to cut North Korea’s fuel imports in an effort to build pressure on its leaders.
[02:30.76]VOA received a copy of the new proposed resolution on North Korea on Wednesday.
[02:38.39]The proposal calls for stopping North Korean cloth and clothing exports, and seeks to put limits on North Koreans working in other countries.
[02:50.69]But the biggest restriction would ban the sale of oil, refined petroleum products, and natural gas liquids to the North.
[03:02.26]Support from Russia and China is needed for an oil embargo to work. Both countries are permanent members of the Security Council.
[03:14.50]They also are energy exporters to North Korea.
[03:18.40]On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin did not offer support to the idea of blocking North Korea’s oil imports.
[03:30.24]Putin spoke during a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at an economic meeting in Vladivostok, Russia.
[03:40.14]China provides North Korea with most of its oil and gas.
[03:45.80]Joseph DeTrani is a former special diplomat to the six party talks.
[03:52.96]They were nuclear talks including both Koreas, China, Russia, Japan and the U.S. DeTrani says the leverage that the Chinese “have on crude oil is immense.”
[04:11.92]But he says an oil embargo would destabilize North Korea’s economy, something China opposes.
[04:20.76]Although China and North Korea have had strained relations, DeTrani says Chinese public support for an oil ban is unlikely.
[04:34.00]“China doesn’t want to make North Korea a total enemy. They want to have some leverage. They don’t want to totally alienate the leadership in Pyongyang.”
[04:48.90]Richard Bush is with the Brookings Institution’s John L. Thornton China Center.
[04:57.04]He says China has to walk a fine line in its policies towards its eastern neighbor.
[05:04.29]Bush says China wants to influence North Korea to stop its nuclear and missile tests.
[05:13.38]At the same time, China worries that a complete oil embargo would cause the country to collapse.
[05:22.81]That situation would create a refugee crisis on China’s border.
[05:29.73]Instead, Bush says China may try to create some flexibility in possible new sanctions by setting a limit for yearly oil imports, or by slowly decreasing them.
[05:45.02]He says China “wants to preserve its own freedom of action and flexibility, but at the same time be responsive to the concerns of the international community.”
[06:00.08]Yun Sun is a China expert at the Stimson Center in Washington DC.
[06:08.36]She says China has not shown that it is willing to cut off the North’s oil supplies.
[06:16.63]She said it might press for oil exports to be considered a humanitarian exception to UN Security Council sanctions.
[06:28.41]I’m Mario Ritter.