UN Security Council unanimously adopts new sanctions on N. Korea

Posted August 07, 2017

The UN Security Council voted unanimously on Saturday in NY to impose its toughest sanctions so far on North Korea.

In early July, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley told the Security Council that if it was united, the global community could cut off major sources of hard currency to North Korea, restrict oil to its military and weapons programs, increase air and maritime restrictions, and hold senior officials accountable. Today you're going to see the action.

"I think the administration has said and will continue to say that North Korea has acted recklessly, irresponsibly, and it has to stop".

The UN Security Council resolution was adopted in response to the DPRK's ballistic missile launches on July 3 and 28, which the country has claimed were of "intercontinental" range.

Both China and Russian Federation voted in favor of the sanctions and the Los Angeles Times reported that on Saturday night the White House said in a statement that the president "appreciates" their cooperation and added that diplomatic avenues are still being pursued. The goal of the sanctions is to target North Korea's finances by banning the export or its primary goods - including seafood, lead, iron, iron ore, lead ore, and coal. And it prohibits all new joint ventures with North Korean companies and bans new foreign investment in existing ones.

The measure cuts about $1 billion worth of North Korean exports, or about a third of the country's export revenue each year.

Resolution 2371 (2017) includes the strongest sanctions ever imposed in response to a ballistic missile test.

China is North Korea's largest trading partner and makes up 85 percent or more of North Korea's total trade.

Tillerson also said the US wants to talk eventually with North Korea, but doesn't think discussions would be productive if the North comes with the intention of maintaining its nuclear weapons.

When asked about the effectiveness of another set of sanctions - those against Russian Federation that President Donald Trump signed into law Wednesday - Haley said "we'll have to wait and see".

The U.S. -drafted measure, negotiated with North Korea's neighbor and ally China, is aimed at increasing economic pressure on Pyongyang to return to negotiations on its nuclear and missile programs.

Moreover, it subjects nine North Korean individuals and four entities to asset freezes and travel bans.

While the draft resolution would impose biting economic sanctions, the US didn't get everything it wanted.

"The threat of an outlaw nuclearized North Korean dictatorship remains ..."

The resolution would ban Pyongyang's exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood.

The resolution asks the Security Council committee monitoring sanctions against North Korea to ban the import of many more so-called dual-use items, which have commercial purposes but can also be used in conventional, biological, chemical or nuclear weapons.

It would also give a green light for the committee to designate specific vessels that are breaking sanctions from entering ports all over the world, and to work with INTERPOL to enforce travel bans on North Koreans on the sanctions blacklist. Despite that, the USA and two previous South Korean governments "essentially bought into a sanctions approach to try and stop North Korea", says John Delury, a North Korea watcher who teaches worldwide relations at Seoul's Yonsei University.

Negotiations for the new resolution began after Pyongyang conducted its first test of an ICBM on July 4.

China has always insisted on realizing the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, upholding peace and stability there and seeking a solution through dialogue and consultation.