United Nations to vote on watered-down new sanctions against North Korea

The Early Edition: September 14, 2017
United Nations to vote on watered-down new sanctions against North Korea
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13 September, 2017

Under the latest resolution, those ships could face penalties, but the original language proposed by the United States went much further, empowering countries to interdict ships suspected of carrying weapons material or fuel into North Korea and to use "all necessary measures" - diplomatic code for the deployment of military force - to enforce compliance.

During the final resolution of the sanctions, adopted on 5 August, the number of expatriate workers from north korea had been capped.

The UN Security Council unanimously approved tougher sanctions against North Korea on Monday because of Pyongyang's sixth and strongest nuclear test on September 3, under which the United Nations imposed a ban on textile exports and restrictions on crude oil imports.

Facing the prospect of a double veto, Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, dropped a provision in a draft Security Council resolution that would have banned all North Korean oil imports and permitted American warships to use force to board vessels that have violated existing U.N. sanctions. Still, the revised draft resolution would cap shipments of refined petroleum products at 2 million barrels a year while limiting crude oil exports to North Korea to current levels, the diplomat said.

The oil embargo was a long shot.

A decision - or even only consideration by the allies - to station USA nukes here will also impose strong pressure on China and Russian Federation, which often leave loopholes in the UN-led sanctions and other global efforts to stop the North's weapons programs. On Monday, she admitted that North Korea had " not crossed a point of no return ".

The North's Foreign Ministry issued a statement early today saying it is watching the United States" moves closely and threatened it is "ready and willing' to respond with measures of its own.

"We're convinced that diverting the gathering menace from the Korean Peninsula could be done not through further and further sanctions, but by political means", he said.

The reduction in oil sales to North Korea isn't expected to change Kim's calculus. "The world will witness how the DPRK tames the USA gangsters by taking series of action tougher than they have ever envisaged".

China has held the position that stronger sanctions would not be helpful in halting North Korea's nuclear programme.

Rycroft called the resolution "a very significant set of additional sanctions on imports into North Korea and exports out of North Korea, and other measures as well". Such inter-Korean trade was not considered exports or imports.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, China supplies most of North Korea's crude oil imports, which a U.S. official put at 4 million barrels a year. The US-drafted sanctions received a 15-0 vote and this is the ninth resolution adopted by the United Nations since the year 2006.

"We have been clear in close consultation with the Americans that oil has to be included as an element of sanctions", South Korean foreign minister Kang Kyung-Wha told reporters.

He went on to add, "I hope whatever has been decided by the USA courts for recognition of the rights of victims and their families will see results and that we will never see the occurrence of such attacks anywhere else in the world".

The Secretary General's comments came in the wake of an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council following Pyongyang's sixth nuclear test, possibly of a Hydrogen bomb.

The sixth nuclear test has incurred worldwide criticism.

The standoff is also spilling over into the business relationship between South Korea and China.

In a decision backed by China and Russian Federation, the UNSC has put a ban on textile exports and has also restricted the shipment of oil products.


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