China Moves To Limit Fuel, Textile Trade With North Korea

Sunday, 24 Sep, 2017

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un delivered a scathing rebuke Friday of U.S. President Donald Trump, calling him "mentally deranged" and vowing to make him "pay dearly" for threatening to "totally destroy" his country - a possible allusion to further weapons tests as the country's top diplomat hinted that a hydrogen bomb test may be carried out over the Pacific Ocean.

Following Trump's United Nations speech, China's English-language edition of the state-run People's Daily in an editorial called the president's remarks "political chest-thumping [that] is unhelpful".

Trump's latest steps to punish foreign companies that deal with the North was the latest salvo in a US -led campaign to isolate and impoverish the government of Kim Jong Un until it halts the missile and nuclear tests.

However, Kim's Foreign Minister, Ri Yong Ho, said North Korea could consider a hydrogen bomb test of an unprecedented scale over the Pacific Ocean.

"We can't have madmen out there shooting rockets all over the place", Trump said, referring to Kim Jong Un. In Japan, the government's defence minister told his country to brace for the potential for the potential launch of a nuclear-armed North Korean missile.

Mr Trump also mockingly called Mr Kim a "rocket man" on a "suicide mission".

"Trump insulted me and my country in front of the eyes of the world and made the most ferocious declaration of a war in history", Kim said.

"I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged USA dotard with fire", Kim said in the rare direct statement, referring to Trump.

"North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile development is a grave threat to peace and security in our world and it is unacceptable that others financially support this criminal, rogue regime", Trump said as he joined Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in for a meeting in NY.

Trump had recently ordered fresh sanctions over Pyongyang's weapons programmes and even praised China for taking an action to limit financial transactions with North Korea.

"Australia is a strong supporter of the Paris agreement, and here at the United Nations we have voiced our support specifically on risk mitigation for coral reefs, which are among the most valuable environments on our planet", the Foreign Minister said.

Trump has led global efforts to address North Korea, signing an executive order to implement new economic sanctions Thursday.

His comments were believed to be the first direct message ever issued by a North Korean leader.

China accounts for about 90 percent of North Korea's foreign trade.

China accounts of about 90 percent North Korea's trade, according to The Associated Press.

But he said there were questions about North Korea's technical capabilities and Washington did not give "too much credence" to Pyongyang taking such action. French Sports Minister Laura Flessel said France's team would not travel to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea if its security can not be guaranteed.

Sanctions are a key part of the Trump administration's strategy on North Korea: marshaling a global coalition to mount enough pressure on North Korea so that it will put its nuclear weapons on the negotiating table. Mr Trump also told the United Nations that if "forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea".

Ri said on Thursday that a response "could be the most powerful detonation of an H-bomb in the Pacific".

The new USA sanctions "will cut off sources of revenue that fund North Korea's efforts to develop the deadliest weapons known to humankind", Trump said Thursday.

North Korea depends on China for nearly all its oil and gas but estimates of its consumption are low, leaving it unclear how Beijing's new limit will affect them.