UN Security Council unanimously approves new sanctions on North Korea

Frederick Owens
September 13, 2017

The resolution represents a swift response to North Korea's sixth and strongest nuclear test explosion September 3, which it said was a hydrogen bomb, and to its escalating launches of increasingly sophisticated ballistic missiles that it says can reach the United States. It still proposes a ban on textile exports.

"It is important for us to display strong Japan-US relations for Japan's security", Onodera was quoted as saying by broadcaster NHK.

The resolution drafted by the USA would have implemented a broad range of measures, including imposing a full oil embargo on the communist country.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the sanctions could eventually starve North Korea of an additional $500 million or more in annual revenue.

She said the US would continue to act to disrupt North Korea's illicit activities wherever they are located.

The US watered down an initial tougher draft resolution to win the support of Pyongyang ally China and Russian Federation.

Seoul's presidential office welcomed the new resolution, saying that its approval confirms that the global community holds the shared belief that stronger measures are needed. "If it agrees to stop its nuclear program, it can reclaim its future". The report estimated North Korea may have enough in reserve to supply its military for a year of normal operations or a month at a wartime pace.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un hosted a massive celebration to congratulate his nuclear scientists and technicians who steered the country's sixth and largest nuclear test a week ago, its official news agency said Sunday.

On Friday, the USA mission to the UN announced that Washington would call a UN Security Council meeting on Monday to vote on a new draft resolution, set to tighten sanctions on North Korea.

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

Though Russia voted in favor of the resolution on Monday, President Vladimir Putin earlier downplayed the effectiveness of sanctions given North Korea's unrelenting nuclear ambitions.

North Korea on Tuesday rejected a UN Security Council resolution imposing tougher sanctions and said the United States would soon face the "greatest pain" it had ever experienced.

"The US needs to switch from isolation to communication in order to end an "endless loop" on the Korean Peninsula, where "nuclear and missile tests trigger tougher sanctions and tougher sanctions invite further tests", it said".

That would amount to a 10 per cent cut in oil products, according to the US Energy Information Administration, which estimates annual exports to North Korea at almost 2.2 million barrels.

The revised resolution adds new language urging "further work to reduce tensions so as to advance the prospects for a comprehensive settlement", and underscoring "the imperative of achieving the goal of complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner".

"China's policy is to force North Korea to the negotiating table, not to its knees, so it builds in exemptions like this to give it the ability to keep the regime alive", Hastings said.

Guterres welcomed the council's "firm action" to send a clear message to North Korea that it must comply with its worldwide obligations, United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

It had to settle for an extension of the current cap to get the resolution through.

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