Korea's H-bomb claim appears true: senior USA official

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The United States aims to impose the strictest sanctions ever on North Korea, with a vote on a U.N. resolution set to take place Monday amid mounting tensions between the two countries.

While North Koreans decorated statues with flowers, the U.N. was preparing for a Monday vote on new sanctions to punish Pyongyang for its recent uptick in long-range missile tests and a sixth nuclear test. Mexico also became the latest nation to respond by expelling North Korea's ambassadors.

The draft resolution includes a full ban on exports of oil to North Korea, a full ban on textile imports from North Korea, a ban on North Korean labourers generating earnings overseas, and the asset freeze, which will also target members of the ruling worker's party, the diplomat said, calling it a "hard-hitting, ambitious resolution", CNN reported.

The United States and other Western countries have asked the UN to consider tough new sanctions on North Korea after its test last week that it said was of an advanced hydrogen bomb.

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The US informed the Security Council on Friday night of its plan to call the vote, the State Department said in a brief statement, adding it would look to impose further penalties on Pyongyang.

After the latest nuclear test by North Korea at the weekend, the U.S. and its allies called for tougher sanctions against the North Korean regime.

It was not immediately clear how North Korean ally China and Russian Federation would vote, but a senior USA official on Friday night expressed skepticism that either nation would accept anything more stringent than a ban on imports of North Korean textiles.

"Along with pressure on the North Korean regime to induce it to abandon provocations in the implementation of its nuclear and missile programs, it is necessary to emphasize and increase the priority of efforts to resume the political process", Lavrov said.

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DeThomas agreed that it was unwise to break the unity of the Security Council, but he said the US administration is unlikely to accept "a very watered down approach".

There was no word on the outcome of negotiations, and whether any changes sought by the Russians and Chinese were acceptable to the United States.

Mexico has given North Korea's ambassador 72 hours to leave the country, though Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray later said it had not broken off diplomatic ties. Meanwhile, the U.N.is considering fresh sanctions to counter North Korea's increasingly frequent and powerful missile launches.

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