3 Must Read Stories: North Korea Oil Ban, China’s Military Prepares, Bitcoin Bubble

The U.S. is pushing for tougher sanctions against North Korea, including a ban on shipments of crude oil to the rogue nation.

The proposed crackdown comes as U.S. President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping talked about the escalation of tensions in North Asia following North Korea’s test of a hydrogen bomb and the firing of a missile over Japan last week. Bloomberg has more details:

The U.S. is circulating a draft resolution at the United Nations that would bar crude oil shipments to North Korea, ban the nation’s exports of textiles and prohibit employment of its guest workers by other countries, according to a diplomat at the world body.

The proposal, which also calls for freezing the assets of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, has been circulated to the 15 members of the Security Council, according to the diplomat, who asked not to be identified discussing internal deliberations. The U.S. has said it wants the council to take up tougher sanctions at a meeting Sept. 11.

The bid for the toughest penalties yet against North Korea comes despite renewed warnings against such moves by the leaders of China and Russia, which have veto power in the Security Council. U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke for 45 minutes Wednesday amid Pyongyang’s stepped-up pace of nuclear and missile tests.

The instability in the region is unsettling Beijing, with the Chinese military carrying out exercises in the Yellow Sea near the Korean peninsula. Reuters has more details:

China’s air force has carried out exercises near the Korean peninsula, practicing to defend against a “surprise attack” coming over the sea, Chinese state media reported.

An anti-aircraft defense battalion carried out the exercises early on Tuesday, near the Bohai Sea, the innermost gulf of the Yellow Sea that separates China from the peninsula, an official military website www.81.cn reported.

Troops traveled to the site from central China before immediately beginning drills to fend off the “surprise attack” simulating real battle, it said.

The speculative surge in the value of Bitcoin has seen the digital currency characterized as a bubble. Nobel Prize winner and Yale professor Robert Shiller has stoked the debate by comparing Bitcoin to other bubbles. CNBC has the details:

“I’m not as negative as it may seem, but I think that the thing that’s driving bitcoin at the moment, like other examples of bubbles, is a story,” Shiller said. “And it’s the quality of the story that’s attracting all this interest, and it’s not necessarily sustainable.”

Bitcoin’s increasingly attractive story all started with its mysterious creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, whose existence is hotly debated after he created the currency then disappeared, Shiller said.

“Then, we have a new form of money that … sounds extremely revolutionary and involves a very clever use of cryptography that you can spend all afternoon trying to figure out,” Shiller said. “So the story has inspired young people and active people, and that’s what’s driving the market. It’s not fundamentals. It’s not like this is a fundamentally important thing, this bitcoin.”