North Korea rejects UN sanctions resolution, warns of measures that 'will make the US suffer the greatest pain'

North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations Han Tae Song attends the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, Switzerland, on Sept 5, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

GENEVA (REUTERS) - North Korea on Tuesday (Sept 12) rejected a UN Security Council resolution imposing tougher sanctions, and said the United States would soon face the "greatest pain" it had ever experienced.

Pyongyang's ambassador Han Tae Song, addressing the UN-sponsored Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, said: "The Washington regime fired up for political, economic, and military confrontation, (is) obsessed with the wild game of reversing the DPRK's development of nuclear force which has already reached the completion phase".

He said "forthcoming measures" by the North "will make the US suffer the greatest pain" it has ever experienced.

The United Nations Security Council unanimously stepped up sanctions against North Korea on Monday (Tuesday, Sept 12, Singapore time) over the North's latest nuclear test, imposing a ban on the country's textile exports and capping imports of crude oil.

It was the eighth sanctions resolution unanimously adopted by the 15-member council since 2006 over North Korea's ballistic missile and nuclear programmes. The US watered down an initial tougher draft resolution to win the support of Pyongyang ally China and Russia.

"My hope is the regime will hear the message loud and clear and it will choose a different path," US disarmament ambassador Robert Woods told the Geneva forum on Tuesday.

The US had originally demanded a total ban on oil supplies to the North. The revised deal imposed caps on the imports of oil, but stopped short of measures that could cripple the regime.

A US broadcaster reported on Tuesday that oil prices in the North are soaring amid expectations of fresh tough sanctions over the isolated regime's latest nuclear test. Prior to the Sept 3 nuclear test, gasoline was sold for 13,000 North Korean won (S$136) per kg, Radio Free Asia said, citing sources who are in contact with North Korean residents.

"In Hoeryong, North Hamgyong Province, gasoline is currently trading at 17,000 won per kg and diesel oil at 13,000 won," a source said.

Another source in China's north-eastern Liaoning province noted the North's oil price has risen higher than that of China, reported Yonhap news agency, citing the Radio Free Asia report.

Rumours circulating inside the North that China will ban its oil exports to the North, and this has led to a price hike, the broadcaster said.

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