United States enlists United Nations to keep sanctions pressure on NKorea

US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said on Thursday it was technically possible for North Korea to eliminate its nuclear weapons programme within a year, but added that it was not likely to happen.

If the path to get there is "not easy", it is "pretty straightforward", Pompeo said.

Under a United Nations sanctions resolution adopted last year, crude oil supplies to North Korea were limited to 4 million barrels per year, with a ceiling of 500,000 barrels put on refined oil products.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has traveled to North Korea for discussions several times this year, reiterated on Friday that "strict enforcement of sanctions" should remain until the country denuclearizes.

But almost six weeks after President Trump's summit with Kim Jong Un, it's unclear where those talks stand and how successful the US diplomatic push has been or even could be. "We and the Security Council and the worldwide community have to support those talks, and the best way to support those talks is to not loosen the sanctions".

"These sales and any other transfer must immediately stop since the United States believes [North Korea] has breached the ... refined petroleum products quota for 2018", the USA argued.

The move on July 19 by Russian Federation and China came after Washington last week asked a UN Security Council sanctions committee to ban further shipments on the grounds that fuel smuggling has enabled North Korea to already exceed a UN-imposed cap on its fuel imports for the year.

On July 12, Haley's office sent evidence to the United Nations committee tasked with sanctions on Pyongyang that showed that North Korea breached United Nations sanctions by surpassing the annual cap for petroleum products, documents obtained by CBS News revealed.

Earlier this week, US President Donald Trump seemingly made a U-turn in Washington's policy on Pyongyang's disarmament, as he said that there is "no rush" on North Korean denuclearization for the US.

On Thursday, Russia and China foiled US efforts to act on the report.

Haley added that the US has "photographs of proof" of those transfers and that they continue to happen.

Committee rules allow up to a six-month delay, with the possibility of three additional months, van Oosterom told CBS News.

China, which is North Korea's closest ally and responsible for more than 90 percent of the isolated country's trade, backs North Korea's call for a "phased and synchronous" approach to denuclearization.

Real gross domestic product in North Korea fell by 3.5% previous year, the Bank of Korea said in a statement Friday, the largest decline since 1997 when the country suffered a devastating starvation.

Media reported that the US documents cite 89 instances in the first half of the year in which North Korean tankers likely delivered refined products "illicitly procured" by such transfers at sea. The U.S. nixed that statement within hours of it being circulated, but the divisions continue.

The head of the U.S. Intelligence Community said the U.S. will continue to encourage Russian Federation and China to pressure North Korea with global sanctions. "He has projected a longer time frame, but then it depends on what steps they take within that one period of time that can give us some hope and courage and encouragement that we're on the right track...it's a much more complicated process than most people think".

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