U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday the latest U.N. sanctions on North Korea were only a very small step and nothing compared what would have to happen to deal with the country’s nuclear program, APA reports quoting Reuters.
The U.N. Security Council unanimously voted to boost sanctions on North Korea on Monday, with its profitable textile exports now banned and fuel supplies capped, prompting a traditionally defiant threat of retaliation against the United States.
Monday’s decision, triggered by the North’s sixth and largest nuclear test this month, was the ninth such resolution unanimously adopted by the 15-member Security Council since 2006 over North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs.
A tougher initial U.S. draft was weakened to win the support of China, Pyongyang’s main ally and trading partner, and Russia, both of which hold veto power in the council. Significantly, it stopped short of imposing a full embargo on oil exports to North Korea, most of which come from China.
Trump told reporters at the start of a meeting with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak that he was pleased Malaysia no longer did business with North Korea, before adding that he had just discussed the U.N. vote with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
”We think it’s just another very small step, not a big deal. ... I don’t know if it has any impact, but certainly it was nice to get 15-to-nothing vote.
”But those sanctions are nothing compared to what ultimately will have to happen,” he said without elaborating. Trump has vowed not to allow North Korea to possess a nuclear missile capable of hitting the United States.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told a conference earlier on Tuesday that if China did not follow through on the new sanctions, “we will put additional sanctions on them and prevent them from accessing the U.S. and international dollar system.”
Washington so far has mostly held off on new sanctions against Chinese banks and other companies doing business with North Korea, given fears of retaliation by Beijing and possibly far-reaching effects on the world economy.