8 Sep 2017; In recent weeks and months, North Korea has never been far from the headlines. Tensions were already high before the country performed another nuclear test and detonated its most powerful bomb yet. A week prior, on August 28, Japan was on high alert as the North Koreans fired a ballistic missile over the island of Hokkaido. The international community has condemned North Korea’s actions, but remains divided as to the best way to respond to the regime of Kim Jong Un. During a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Monday, September 4, several countries, including the United States, Japan and South Korea, indicated that they would push for fresh, more robust sanctions, including an oil embargo. Such an embargo will have no direct impact on the oil and tanker trades around the Korean peninsula, but the indirect consequences of a further ramp-up of tension in the region can be significant. Even small scale military action could severely impact global oil and tanker markets.
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