USA lawmakers want supercharged response to North Korea nuclear tests

North Korea nuclear yield estimated at 250 kilotons US monitor

North Korea nuclear yield estimated at 250 kilotons US monitor

South Korea has been accelerating efforts to ramp up its military capabilities in face of a torrent of nuclear weapons tests by North Korea, which on September 3 conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test to date.

"The DPRK shall make absolutely sure that the USA pays a due price", the Korean Central News Agency said, citing a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and using initials for North Korea's formal name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"The EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini made the remarks on Tuesday in her report on the North's sixth nuclear test and global responses during a plenary session of the European Parliament in France".

China's Big Four state-owned banks have stopped providing financial services to new North Korean clients, according to branch staff, amid US concerns that Beijing has not been tough enough over Pyongyang´s repeated nuclear tests.

"The new United Nations sanctions on oil exports to North Korea are relatively moderate in scope compared to the original USA proposal regarding oil exports, and would be unlikely to have much impact on the operations of the North Korean military", said IHS Markit in a note to clients. It was the ninth sanctions resolution unanimously adopted by the council since 2006 over North Korea's ballistic missile and nuclear programs.

Rarely does a government announce a strategy to assassinate a head of state, but South Korea wants to keep the North on edge and nervous about the consequences of further developing its nuclear arsenal.

China supplies most of North Korea's crude. At the hearing, US officials released American intelligence findings on how North Korea smuggles coal and commodities to Russian Federation and China.

Those isotopes could show if the bomb tested on September 3 was a plutonium or uranium device, according to the South Korean agency.

Last week, US President Donald Trump agreed to lift payload limits under a decades-old treaty, allowing South Korea to build more powerful ballistic missiles. It estimated that North Korea managed to export at least $270 million of banned commodities between February and August.

North Korea image by Shutterstock.

The two nations set out what they called "four nos." "We've been played by the Kims for years", Republican Representative Ted Poe said, referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his predecessors.

There was no independent verification of the North's claim to have conducted a hydrogen bomb test, but some experts said there was enough strong evidence to suggest Pyongyang had either developed a hydrogen bomb or was getting close.

China's Ministry of Commerce said it wouldn't immediately comment on the threat of fresh measures.

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