Germany open to Iran-style N. Korea talks: Merkel

South Korean soldiers travel in an armored vehicle along a road near the border in Paju South Korea on Wednesday

South Korean soldiers travel in an armored vehicle along a road near the border in Paju South Korea on Wednesday

UNITED NATIONS―The UN Security Council unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea, banning textile exports and restricting the shipments of oil products to punish Pyongyang for its sixth and largest nuclear test.

North Korea detonated its sixth and most powerful nuclear bomb on Sunday which it said was a hydrogen device, and may launch another intercontinental ballistic missile as soon as Saturday, the anniversary of its founding.

Frustrated U.S. lawmakers called on Tuesday for a "supercharged" response to North Korea's nuclear tests, saying Washington should act alone if necessary to stiffen sanctions on companies from China and any country doing business with Pyongyang.

President Donald Trump's administration is pushing the Security Council to adopt a united stance as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un seeks the capability to strike the USA with a nuclear weapon.

But with Berlin, Paris and London potentially within striking distance of North Korea's missiles from next year, officials say the USA -led alliance's system needs more radars and special interceptors to destroy a rocket from Pyongyang.

Under the measure, countries are authorized to inspect ships suspected of carrying banned North Korean cargo but must first seek the consent of the flag-state.

After a meeting of the 28 European Union foreign ministers in Tallinn last week, Mogherini said work would begin on new measures against the North to add to the broad range of sanctions the bloc already has in place.

U.S. President Donald Trump's attempts to isolate North Korea and further stoke military tensions in the Korean peninsula faced a further setback this weekend as German Chancellor Angela Merkel floated the possibility that she would assist in a diplomatic initiative to end the regional crisis. Last year, North Korea conducted its fifth nuclear test on the September 9 anniversary.

Worldwide pressure on Kim's regime is now at boiling point after it fired a rocket over Japan before testing a hydrogen bomb last week.

Despite the numerous sanctions imposed on North Korea, it seems unlikely that the hermit nation will give up its nuclear weapons. Washington wants to put more pressure on the North by imposing an oil embargo and freezing assets of the country's leader, Kim Jong-un.

A tougher initial USA draft was weakened to win the support of Pyongyang ally China and Russian Federation. "But we all know these steps only work if all nations implement them completely and aggressively", she said.

"There is a significant prize in keeping the whole of the Security Council united", he told reporters.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo on Monday said it was "fair to say" that North Korea, which has a history of sharing its nuclear capabilities, could be approached by potential customers, such as Iran, to sell secrets about its missile programs.

DPRK stands for the North's formal name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

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