After US Compromise, Security Council Strengthens North Korea Sanctions

Ebony Scott
September 13, 2017

It is the ninth resolution unanimously adopted by the 15-member council since 2006 over North Korea's ballistic missile and nuclear programmes.

So soon after that nuclear test, Ambassador Nikki Haley circulated a very tough resolution that called for an oil embargo on North Korea, called on countries to ban the travel and freeze the assets of Kim Jong Un and other top North Korean officials.

The sanctions fell short of the original United States demand for banning foreign travel by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and freezing his assets.

The new tougher sanctions approved by the UN Security Council provides for a ban on North Korea's textile exports and limiting its import of crude oil.

It will also ban the export of all textiles, the official said, noting that in 2016, the North Korean regime earned $760 million through those sales - making it the largest economic sector that UN Security Council had not yet touched.

The U.S. has called for sanctions that would virtually end all trade with North Korea and freeze all assets controlled by the regime. But she stressed that "these steps only work if all nations implement them completely and aggressively".

Cutting off hard currency to the Kim regime could undermine Kim's fragile position with the North Korean elites and military leaders whom he needs to keep happy. "But I'm not sure that they will really have much effect on the nuclear weapons and missile programs, given the priority that those initiatives must have for the DPRK leadership". If it proves it can live in peace, the world will live in peace with it. ... He urged the administration to "dramatically ramp up" USA sanctions designations of entities that deal with North Korea, particularly Chinese banks.

China's UN Ambassador Liu Jieyi called on North Korea to "take seriously the expectations and will of the worldwide community" to halt its nuclear and ballistic missile development, and called on all parties to remain "cool-headed" and not stoke tensions.

There have been signs, including reduced supply and skyrocketing prices, that North Korea has already started diverting oil products away from gas stations and other consumer outlets.

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It came just hours after North Korea reissued a statement calling attempts to stifle its highly provocative nuclear ambitions "utterly disgusting" and "despicable".

"The textile ban, inspections paragraphs, and joint ventures language are strong", he added.

This is the first time that the UNSC resolution has included restrictions on oil supplies to the North. Experts analyzed that it would lead to around a 30 percent reduction in total supplies of oil-related products to the North.

Branches of China's biggest banks have suspended financial transactions for North Koreans, employees said, suggesting that Beijing has pursued stronger measures against its nuclear-armed ally than previously thought.

The new measures are sure to cause North Korea more economic pain. The US estimates about 93,000 North Koreans are working overseas, the US official said. It is likely the new sanctions will pass. The resolution adds only the Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party of Korea and the party's powerful Organization and Guidance Department and its Propaganda and Agitation Department to the sanctions blacklist.

Pyongyang's ambassador, Han Tae Song spoke at the United Nations -sponsored Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, where he said that the tougher sanctions are illegal and unlawful. Ideally, Kazakhstan calls on all UN Member States, especially the Permanent Members of the Security Council, to rid the world of nuclear weapons by the UN's 100th Anniversary in 2045, " it was noted in the January address of the Head of State.

"As North Korea continues to improve its ability to do longer-range missiles and to put nuclear weapons on those missiles, it is very unlikely, if they get that capability, that they wouldn't share it with lots of folks, and Iran would certainly be someone who would be willing to pay them for it", Pompeo explained on Fox News.

Most go to China and Russian Federation, so the effects will depend on enforcement by Beijing and Moscow, said Koo. The North Korean regime has not yet passed the point of no return", Haley told the Security Council, adding: "If North Korea continues its risky path, we will continue with further pressure.

Other reports by GizPress

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