UN security council approves new sanctions on North Korea

The United Nations Security Council has unanimously approved new sanctions on North Korea in response to the country's latest missile and nuclear tests. (AP)

The U.N. Security Council on Monday unanimously approved new sanctions against North Korea for its growing nuclear and ballistic missile programs, but the measures did not include an oil import ban favored by the United States. 

The resolution is a watered-down version of what the U.S. initially proposed, removing the demand to ban all oil imports to the North and to freeze international assets of the government and leader Kim Jong Un, according to the Associated Press.

The resolution also eliminates a U.S. proposal to authorize the use of force to board nine named ships, which it said violated previous United Nations sanctions resolutions, to carry out inspections, the AP reported.

North Korea warned early Monday that the United States would feel the "greatest pain" if it pushed ahead with a new round of sanctions.

"The DPRK (the Democratic People's Republic of Korea) is ready and willing to use any form of ultimate means" and the U.S. would pay a heavy price if new sanctions proposed by Washington are adopted, North Korea's foreign ministry said, using the country's official name.

Russia and China, which is North Korea's biggest trade partner, favor a political solution and have said that additional sanctions would have a limited impact. Both countries could veto any new resolution.

The sanctions approved Monday do ban North Korea from importing all natural gas liquids and condensates. But it caps imports of crude oil at the level of the last 12 months, and it limits the import of refined petroleum products to 2 million barrels a year.

The resolution also calls for a ban on North Korea's textile exports — its largest export after coal and other minerals in 2016. The measure also prohibits all countries from authorizing new work permits for North Korean workers. Both aspects are important sources of currency for the isolated nation.

To pass, a resolution needs nine of the 15 Security Council members to endorse it. Additionally, none of the council's five permanent members — the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China — must veto it.

North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test just over a week ago, and Washington and its allies want harsh new restrictions placed on Pyongyang. The North is already subject to sanctions that restrict its ability to export some commodities such as iron ore and limit its use of the international financial system.

North Koreans celebrated the country’s 69th founding anniversary on Sunday, but Pyongyang did not test another intercontinental ballistic missile, as South Korea had warned might happen. 

© 2017 Associated Press


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