Yellen says to discuss with Seoul price cap on Russia oil, limits on North Korea

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U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and South Korean Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance Choo Kyung-ho meet at Lotte Hotel, in Seoul, South Korea July 19, 2022. Chung Sung-Jun/Pool via REUTERS

Washington will discuss with South Korea measures to limit revenues flowing to Russia, such as a price cap on its oil, while the allies work to curb North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Tuesday, reported by Reuters.

In a speech prepared for a meeting with South Korean counterpart Choo Kyung-ho, Yellen said the two would explore a price cap to reduce oil earnings and other ways of holding Russia accountable for its war against Ukraine.

“Russia’s illegal war and the global energy shock that has followed have underscored the need to protect ourselves from dependence on foreign oil that makes us vulnerable to the whims of authoritarians like Vladimir Putin,” Yellen said.

She is to meet Choo in the South Korean capital, during a three-stop tour of East Asia.

In an interview on her way to Seoul, Yellen said the United States had further sanctions it could adopt against North Korea, adding that any nuclear test by Pyongyang would be seen as very provocative.

Concern is growing that North Korea could be preparing to test a nuclear weapon for the first time since 2017, following a record number of missile tests this year, including that of its largest intercontinental ballistic missile.

The two leaders have said they will also discuss economic security and supply chain issues, as the Ukraine conflict, which Moscow calls a “special military operation”, and disruptions in global supplies have driven up inflation worldwide.

On Saturday, Yellen told reporters she had held productive two-way meetings on the proposed price cap with more than six counterparts gathered for a meeting of Group of 20 finance officials on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.

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