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US President says North Korea sanctions just the beginning

WASHINGTON : US President Donald Trump on Tuesday described the latest batch of UN-backed sanctions against North Korea as a “very small step” that must lead to tougher measures.

Sustaining a tough tone in the face of North Korea s missile and nuclear weapons tests, Trump indicated that he would continue to press for sanctions designed to make the regime recalculate its strategy.

“We think it s just another very small step – not a big deal,” Trump said of the sanctions agreed Monday evening.

The Security Council unanimously slapped a ban on textile exports and restricted shipments of oil products to punish Pyongyang for its sixth and largest nuclear test.

The measures stopped well short of an oil embargo that Washington had been seeking, but which is opposed by China.

“Those sanctions are nothing compared to ultimately what will have to happen,” Trump said, indicating he would continue to press Beijing.

He said the labour restriction would be almost impossible to police and that trade statistics greatly overstated North Korea’s earnings from textiles.

Frustrated US lawmakers called at a House hearing on Tuesday for a “supercharged” response to North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests and said Washington should act alone if necessary to stiffen sanctions on China firms and any country doing business with Pyongyang.

Ed Royce, the Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said time was running out and Chinese firms should be given “a choice between doing business with North Korea or the United States.”

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