US threatens to cut off supplies for N. Korea

WASHINGTON • The United States will have to work with other countries to deny North Korea access to basics like oil, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said.

It will also have to consider whether to impose secondary sanctions on those doing business with North Korea, he added.

"We are going to have to move to work with others to begin to deny North Korea basic needs like crude oil supplies, petroleum fuel supplies, things that are... easier... to monitor, whether we are getting cooperation from people or not," Mr Tillerson told a congressional hearing yesterday.

He added that China has taken "visible steps that we can confirm" to put pressure on Pyongyang. North Korea will be "at the top of the agenda" during high-level talks with Chinese officials next week, he noted.

During the congressional hearing, Mr Tillerson said US relationship with Russia was at an all-time low and the administration was aiming to bring stability to ties, Reuters reported.

When asked about a Russia sanctions Bill under consideration this week by the Senate, he said: "We have a large placemat of difficult issues with the Russians... our relationship's at an all-time low, and it's been deteriorating further. Our objective is to stabilise that."

"There are efforts under way in Syria specifically," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 14, 2017, with the headline 'US threatens to cut off supplies for N. Korea'. Print Edition | Subscribe