The UN Security Council on Monday unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea, slapping a ban on textile exports and restricting shipments of oil products to punish Pyongyang for its sixth and largest nuclear test.
The sanctions target gas and oil imports and ban textile exports from the secretive state, as well limiting the number of foreign workers it can send overseas.
A US official, familiar with the council negotiations and speaking on condition of anonymity, said North Korea imported some 4.5 million barrels of refined petroleum products annually and 4 million barrels of crude oil.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un claps during a celebration for nuclear scientists and engineers who contributed to a hydrogen bomb test, in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on September 10, 2017.
Ambassador Han Tae Song also lashed out at the United States during a session of the UN's Conference on Disarmament, saying North Korea denounces Washington's "evil intention" and would "make sure the US pays a due price". It said the USA would pay a heavy price if the sanctions proposed by Washington are adopted.
"If North Korea continues its unsafe path, we will continue with further pressure".
"We don't take pleasure in further strengthening sanctions today", said Haley.
One man who had lived in Vladivostok for the past four years told CNN he works every day, including weekends, and spends most of his time at the work site or back in a two-story dormitory he shares with dozens of other workers in an industrial neighborhood of the city.
The five permanent members of the Security Council are the United States, China, Russia, France and Britain.
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Although China also is upset at Pyongyang's adventurism, Beijing is apparently anxious that causing more instability in North Korea by cutting off such a vital commodity will harm Chinese interests, such as refugees fleeing into the country or American troops moving closer to its borders.
However, the latest resolution fell short of the complete oil embargo called for in an earlier US -drafted resolution, which would have needed the support of veto-wielding members China and Russian Federation.
The official defended the USA mission from critics who say the sanctions were watered down, arguing an early draft from the US was given to the press to place pressure on any who might seek to soften the sanctions. The U.S. has rejected proposals from both countries that it stop joint military exercises with South Korea in exchange for a halt to North Korea's nuclear and missile tests.
That would amount to a 10 percent cut in oil products, according to the US Energy Information Administration, which estimates annual exports to North Korea at almost 2.2 million barrels.
As described by media reports, the draft referred to tough steps such as expelling North Koreans working overseas and inspecting cargo ships - a measure that does not rule out resorting to military action.
If the pipeline were clogged beyond fix, China might be left without any influence over North Korea, experts say.
Despite the weakened penalties, US Ambassador Nikki R. Haley cast the resolution as a victory in her Security Council remarks.
Under the new sanctions, North Korean citizens working around the world will be able to finish out their contracts, but further authorizations or renewals will be illegal, according to a United Nations statement.
China has made clear that it's against actions that could destabilize the Korean Peninsula.
Visitors to North Korea say the airline has diversified into new markets in recent months, including cigarettes and fizzy drinks, a taxi fleet and petrol stations in North Korea.