UNITED NATIONS - The United States on Wednesday asked the UN Security Council to slap an oil embargo on North Korea and freeze the assets of leader Kim Jong-Un, in response to Pyongyang’s sixth and most powerful nuclear test.

A US-drafted resolution obtained by AFP also called for banning textile exports and ending payments made to North Korean labourers sent abroad, further depriving the regime of revenue to pursue its military programs.

The United States circulated the proposed resolution to the 14 other council members two days after Ambassador Nikki Haley called for the “strongest possible measures” to be imposed on North Korea.

Haley said on Monday that the United States was seeking a vote on the new sanctions on September 11.

The draft text takes aim directly at North Korea’s leadership with a freeze on leader Kim’s assets as well as those of the ruling Worker’s Party of Korea and the government of North Korea.

Kim would be added to a UN sanctions blacklist that would subject him to a global travel ban, along with four other senior North Korean officials, according to the draft.

The state-owned Air Koryo airline would also be hit with an assets freeze, as would the Korean People’s Army, the ruling party’s central military commission and seven other government or party departments.

North Korea on Sunday triggered global alarm when it detonated what it described as a hydrogen bomb designed for a long-range missile, which was followed by signs that Pyongyang was preparing a new missile launch. The United States presented the new raft of measures after President Donald Trump spoke by phone with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping and told him that military action against North Korea was not his “first choice”.

China, North Korea’s main ally and trading partner, and Russia argue that sanctions alone will not resolve the North Korea crisis and are calling for talks with Pyongyang.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump said military action against North Korea was not the “first choice” of his administration Wednesday, edging away from his most bellicose threats against the Pyongyang regime.

After a phone call with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping about how to deal with Kim Jong-Un’s threatening nuclear and ballistic missile programs, Trump did not rule out military strikes if necessary.

But, he indicated, other avenues for pressure would come before military action.

“Certainly that’s not our first choice, but we will see what happens,” Trump said as he boarded Marine One at the White House.

Trump has previously warned of “fire and fury” if North Korea continued tests and warned its few international partners that trade with the United States could come to an end.

So far those threats have gone unheeded in Pyongyang which recently detonated an apparent thermonuclear bomb.

That and a litany of other tests appear aimed at marrying missile and nuclear technology in a way that could put the United States within striking distance.

Trump has accused China in particular of not doing enough to tighten economic pressure on its smaller neighbor. But on Wednesday Trump sounded more conciliatory.

“I believe that President Xi agrees with me 100 percent. He doesn’t want to see what’s happening there, either. We had a very, very frank and very strong phone call.”

After years of incrementally tougher sanctions against North Korea, the United Nations is currently weighing additional steps.

Those could include an squeezing oil supplies or restricting North Korea’s ability to collect remittances from workers abroad.