U.S. ambassador reports progress on new North Korea sanctions

American Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, center, leaves after attending a Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, Tuesday, July 25, 2017 at United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

By EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United States and China are making progress on a new U.N. resolution that would impose additional sanctions against North Korea following its test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said Tuesday.
The U.S. gave China a proposed resolution several weeks ago, and Haley told reporters that China has been negotiating with its close ally Russia on possible new sanctions.
“The true test will be what they’ve worked out with Russia,” she said.
Haley stressed that the United States wants to ensure it’s “a strong resolution, because that’s what we think we need to have.”
“I think we are making progress, so we are actually talking about different sanctions,” she said.
Haley refused to say what measures were being discussed. But earlier this month she told the Security Council that if it is united, the international community can cut off major sources of hard currency to North Korea, restrict oil to its military and weapons programs, increase air and maritime restrictions and hold senior officials accountable.
She said Tuesday she was pleased with China’s response to the proposed resolution.
“We were waiting to see if it was going to be weak or strong, and I think they’re showing some seriousness with it,” Haley said. “We are constantly in touch with China and I can say that things are moving, but it is still too early to tell how far they’ll move.”
The Security Council has already imposed six rounds of progressively tougher sanctions against North Korea, but so far that has failed to halt the country’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
The most recent sanctions resolution to be adopted, on June 2, added to the U.N. blacklist 15 individuals and four entities linked to the North’s nuclear and missile programs.
At the time, China was blocking tougher measures pushed by the United States.
But North Korea raised the stakes with its launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile as Americans celebrated Independence Day on July 4.
The test marked a significant step toward young North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s goal of developing a missile with a nuclear warhead capable of reaching the United States — and it changed the reality for the Trump administration, which moved quickly on a new resolution with tougher sanctions.
Russia has questioned whether the missile actually was an ICBM, though China did not.
“I think that everyone that we have dealt with acknowledges it’s an ICBM,” Haley said. “Whether they’re willing to put it in writing or not is going to be the real question.”