Speed Reads

all eyes on north korea

America softens its proposed sanctions for North Korea ahead of U.N. Security Council vote

The United States has softened language in its draft for new sanctions on North Korea ahead of a U.N. Security Council vote on Monday that risks a veto by Russia or China, Reuters reports. The proposal for new sanctions follows Pyongyang's nuclear test on Sept. 3. American diplomats' initial draft sought an oil embargo, a halt on North Korea's textile exports, and a financial and travel ban on leader Kim Jong Un. The latest draft, meant to earn the support of Russia and China, does away with the restrictions on Kim and eases the terms of the oil and gas bans.

North Korea warned that America would pay a "due price" for its push for new sanctions. "The world will witness how [North Korea] tames the U.S. gangsters by taking a series of actions tougher than they have ever envisaged," one spokesperson said in a statement.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has opposed stricter sanctions on North Korea, particularly those involving oil, warning of the humanitarian downside, Reuters reports. China, which supplies oil to the North, also likely would have used its veto power if the strict oil sanctions had made it into the final draft.

South Korea, on the other hand, has pushed the council for tough measures against its northern neighbor, insisting that "oil has to be part of the final sanctions."

"I do believe that whatever makes it into the final text and is adopted by consensus hopefully will have significant consequences on the economic pressure against North Korea," said South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha.