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Dem lawmaker proposes cutting off oil to North Korea

Dem lawmaker proposes cutting off oil to North Korea
© Keren Carrion

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) is pressing to end oil exports to North Korea, saying that doing so might push the reclusive country to the negotiating table with the U.S.  

"Twenty years ago, President Clinton got them to the negotiating table by cutting off the oil. We haven't done that," Maloney told radio host John Catsimatidis on AM 970 in New York.

"We keep ratcheting up the sanctions, and one I'm calling for is to cut off the import of all oil products to North Korea," she said. "All I know is what brought North Korea to the table last time, when President Clinton was successful in getting them, was the sanctions that cut off the oil products."

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She also suggested prohibiting imports of luxury goods into North Korea, which she said would more directly target the country's wealthy class. Current sanctions, she said, most drastically affect average citizens.

Maloney's comments came after she joined a congressional delegation in traveling to Hawaii, South Korea, Japan and the border between North Korea and China. 

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Tensions between the U.S. and North Korea have boiled over in recent months amid advancements in Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and missile programs. 

President Trump said last month that he would unleash "fire and fury" on the North if it continued to threaten the U.S. Since then, Pyongyang has threatened a strike in the waters near the U.S. territory of Guam and launched a missile earlier this week that flew over Japan. 

At the same time, the U.S. and South Korea wrapped up annual joint military exercises, which ended on Thursday with a show of air might over the Korean Peninsula. 

Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke by phone Saturday on ways to "maximize pressure" on Pyongyang after North Korean state media said the country had developed an advanced hydrogen bomb.

Earlier this week, Trump said that "talking is not the answer" for dealing with North Korea's destabilizing actions.