Japan to face North Korea amid nuclear tensions


North Korea on Monday threatened to "inflict pain and suffering" on the USA, after Washington pushed for new sanctions against Pyongyang for its sixth nuclear test in the UN Security Council, the state-media reported.

The resolution bans the regime from importing all natural gas liquids and condensates, and caps Pyongyang's imports of crude oil at the level of the last 12 months. A ban on oil exports to North Korea was dropped from Monday's United Nations resolution.

A few hours before the vote, North Korea has clearly expressed its opposition to what would constitute an eighth package of increasingly stringent global sanctions aimed at forcing it to return to the negotiating table over its nuclear and missile programs, which pose a threat to stability in the world.

During negotiations on Sunday, the United States conjured up a new draft of the sanctions resolution as the initial draft imposed a complete oil embargo and a partial naval blockade, to rally China and Russian Federation into supporting the cause.

North Korea was condemned globally for its latest nuclear test on September 3, which it said was of an advanced hydrogen bomb.

But Russia, which employs some 35,000 North Koreans, opposed the move during negotiations, a source said. And there's also a ban on new work permits for North Korean workers.

During his travels overseas, US President Donald Trump met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for talks which included how to deal with North Korea. China, though, has been reluctant to shut off its oil pipeline to North Korea or undertake any measures which could lead to a failed state on its border.

"So we're working flat out at the United Nations to get a better resolution there to enforce the existing sanctions, we're looking at sanctions across the European Union, and of course we're trying to persuade China to keep its neighbour in check".

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The country's leader, Kim Jong Un, celebrated the national holiday on Saturday by bringing his nuclear scientists and engineers to Pyongyang, the capital, and holding a banquet.

Washington wanted the Security Council to vote by yesterday to impose the sanctions, despite resistance from Beijing and Moscow to the new measures.

The latest United Nations sanctions are created to squeeze North Korea harder than ever, but will it be hard enough?

USA ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said her country was not looking for war with North Korea, but the sanctions would "cut deep".

Those talks - which included North Korea, South Korea, China, Russia, Japan and the USA - broke off in 2009.

This will not only starve the regime of any revenues generated through such arrangements, it will now stop all future foreign investments and technology transfers to help North Korea's nascent and weak commercial industries, a United States fact sheet said.

So ahead of this important holiday Japan, the USA and South Korea are all keeping a close eye on the North, watching to see what the country might have planned next.