The U.S. called for a United Nations Security Council vote Monday to impose new sanctions on North Korea.
Security Council officials said American and Chinese diplomats were still working out the text as of late Sunday, the Associated Press reported. In order for the U.N. to pass additional sanctions against North Korea, the United States needs China—Pyongyang's main trading partner and ally—to be on board.
American diplomats first sent a draft of a resolution to Chinese and other diplomats at the United Nations last week, and expressed urgency by "demanding" a vote by Monday, according to the AP.
The draft circulated by the United States called for imposing the toughest-ever U.N. sanctions on North Korea, including a ban on all oil and natural gas exports to the country and a freeze of all foreign financial assets of the government and its leader, Kim Jong Un.
The U.S. is also seeking to ban all countries from hiring workers from North Korea and from importing textiles from the northeast Asian nation — two key sources of foreign currency.
In another key measure, the U.S. draft identified nine ships that have carried out activities prohibited by previous U.N. sanctions resolutions. The draft would authorize the 192 other U.N. member states to stop these ships on the high seas to check their cargo without their consent. It would permit the use of "all necessary measures," which in U.N. language includes force, to carry out an inspection and direct the vessel to a port.
Following Pyongyang's latest nuclear test, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said China supports new U.N. measures hoping they will promote a resolution "through peaceful means."
The North Korean Foreign Ministry responded Monday to the United States' efforts to negotiate new sanctions, saying in a a statement it is "ready and willing" to respond as necessary, CNN reported. It said the U.S. would pay a "due price" if the sanctions proposed by Washington, D.C. are adopted.
"The DPRK is ready and willing to use any form of ultimate means," the statement said. "The forthcoming measures to be taken by the DPRK will cause the U.S. the greatest pain and suffering it had ever gone through in its entire history."
Ethiopia's ambassador to the U.N., the current Security Council president, confirmed Sunday that a Security Council vote would take place Monday.