North Korea leader Kim Jong Un reacts during a celebration for nuclear scientist and engineers who contributed to a hydrogen bomb test, in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on September 10,2017. KCNA via REUTERS
“The DPRK is ready to use any form of ultimate means. The forthcoming measures by DPRK will make U.S. suffer the greatest pain it’s never experienced in its history,” said North Korean Ambassador to United Nations in Geneva Han Tae Song.
North Korea threatened to resort into a drastic move against the United States. DPRK rejected on Tuesday the U.N. Security Council resolution imposing tougher sanctions.
“Instead of making a right choice with a rational analysis on overall situation, the Washington regime finally opted for political, economic and military confrontation,” said Han.
The security council unanimously stepped up sanctions against North Korea on Monday over the country’s sixth and most powerful nuclear test, imposing a ban on its textile exports and capping imports of crude oil.
North Korea was condemned globally for its latest nuclear test on September 3, which it said was of an advanced hydrogen bomb.
Meanwhile, U.S. Disarmament Ambassador Robert Wood took the floor to say that the security council resolution is clear of its message and hopes that DPRK will hear the message loud and clear, and it will choose a different path.
“The international community is tired, is no longer willing to put up with the provocative behavior this resolution gives us, I believe, a much better chance to prevent the regime from fueling and financing its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. We call on all countries to vigorously implement these new sanctions and all other existing sanctions,” said Wood.
In response to the resolution, Peru declared North Korea’s Ambassador Kim Hak-Chol a persona non grata on Monday to protest North Korea’s refusal to heed the world’s “constant calls” to end its nuclear program – giving him five days to leave the country.
Peru’s decision followed a similar move by Mexico last week and a public call from the United States last month for Latin American countries to sever ties with North Korea. — Reuters
EU imposes oil embargo on North Korea
“The measures we adopted today take effect immediately so as of today and our new measures include a total ban on EU investments in the DPRK in all sectors,” said the European Union Foreign Policy chief Federica Mogherini.
Speaking after an EU Foreign Ministers meeting, Mogherini said the 28-member bloc decided to impose a blanket ban on doing business with North Korea in sanctions that go beyond the latest U.N. measures. The EU does not sell oil to Pyongyang.
The move aimed at encouraging countries that have more significant levels of trade with the country to follow suit.
Following North Korea’s most powerful nuclear test, the U.N. Security Council capped North Korean imports of crude oil, but China and Russia resisted an outright ban.
Mogherini said she hoped the new measures would help bring back North Korea to the negotiating table.
“This for us is aimed at opening that political space for negotiations that currently we do not see. We know out of the experience that economic and diplomatic pressure can open space for diplomatic negotiations. We do hope that this set of measures will do so in the coming future,” said foreign policy chief.
As part of the measures, North Korean workers in the EU – estimated to be about 400, mainly in Poland – now face a lower limit on the amount of money they can send home and their work visas will not be renewed once they expire.
The sanctions add three more top North Korean officials and six businesses to a blacklist, banning them from travel to the EU and freezing their assets.
That will take the total of those sanctioned by the EU to 41 individuals and 10 companies. — Reuters
Australians hand over 51,000 illegal firearms in gun amnesty
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said about 51,000 illegal firearms, a fifth of all illegal guns in the country, were surrendered in a three-month amnesty ending on Friday.
“And as you’ve just seen some of the 51,000 firearms that have been handed in as part of the national firearms amnesty. This has been a three-month amnesty. It is an example of the way in which we are relentless in doing everything we can to keep Australians safe,” said Turnbull.
The illegal weapons surrendered will be destroyed.
Turnbull said Australia’s tough gun ownership laws, which ban all semi-automatic rifles and semi-automatic shotguns, severely limits the chances of a Las Vegas style mass shooting that killed 58 people before killing himself.
The shooting has focused attention on gun ownership rules in the United States.
“Every single one of those 51,000 guns could be used, could’ve been used in a crime where Australians could be killed. now they can’t. They’ve been collected and they will now be destroyed. Every single one of them will now be off the streets and out of harms way,” said the Australian prime minister.
Australia’s tough gun ownership laws were introduced after the massacre of 35 people by a lone gunman at the former prison colony of Port Arthur in the island state of Tasmania in 1996.
The country has had no mass shootings since. — Reuters
U.S. gun lobby agrees to examine ‘bump stocks’ after deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas
The U.S. gun lobby, which has seldom embraced new firearms-control measures, voiced a readiness on Thursday to restrict the use of bump-stock devices that allow semi-automatic rifles to operate as if they were fully automatic machine guns, which are otherwise outlawed in the United States.
Authorities said Stephen Paddock’s ability to fire hundreds of rounds per minute over the course of 10 minutes was a major factor in the high casualty count of 58 people killed and hundreds wounded.
The White House said on Thursday it welcomed efforts by both political parties to address the use of “bump stock” gun accessories.
“We know that both – members of both parties and multiple organizations are planning to take a look at bump stocks and related devices. We certainly welcome that, would like to be part of that conversation, and we would like to see a clear understanding of the facts. And we’d like to see input from the victims’ families, from law enforcement, from policymakers. And we’re expecting hearings in other important fact-finding efforts on that,” said White House Spokeswoman Sarah Sanders.
The influential National Rifle Association, which staunchly opposed moves to tighten gun control laws, said that bump stocks, which remain legal, “should be subject to additional regulations.”
Democrats are already urging new legislation, as the shooting reignited the long-standing U.S. debate over regulation of gun ownership.
U.S. Representative Steve Scalise, a member of the Republican House leadership who is himself a victim of gun violence, voiced concern that hasty congressional action to restrict bump stocks could lead to wider limits on “the rights of gun owners.” — Reuters