United Nations adopts new sanctions against North Korea

Frederick Owens
September 12, 2017

German Chancellor Angela Merkel once again has stressed the 2015 Iran nuclear deal - negotiated with U.N. Security Council members and Germany - as a model for solving the North Korea crisis.

The diplomats expressed optimism for the US-backed measure, despite Russian Federation and China's reticence.

Britain's U.N. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft called the resolution "very robust" and "a very significant set of additional sanctions on imports into North Korea and exports out of North Korea and other measures as well".

The resolution bans all North Korean textile exports.

China, North Korea's sole ally and main trading partner, had strongly objected to an oil embargo initially sought by the United States out of fear that it would bring the North's economy to its knees. And instead of cutting off Pyongyang's oil supply, the council would only cap crude oil exports to North Korea at current levels.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley told the Security Council: "We don't take pleasure in further strengthening sanctions today".

North Korea's nuclear weapons programme must be stopped before its missiles can strike the United Kingdom, the Defence Secretary has warned.

Security Council diplomats, who weren't authorized to speak publicly because talks have been private, said the USA and China were still negotiating the text late Sunday.

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The original USA draft would have ordered all countries to impose an asset freeze and travel ban on Kim Jong Un and four other top party and government officials.

North Korea celebrated Saturday the anniversary of the founding of the nation with calls to strengthen its military potential, nuclear, defying the threat of new global sanctions.

The celebrations followed an announcement by the nation's state media claiming the regime had detonated a hydrogen bomb with "perfect success".

Kim, who has said he will not negotiate unless the United States drops its "hostile policies", threw a banquet for nuclear scientists and technicians to celebrate the hydrogen bomb test, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported yesterday.

"We are now not reviewing the issue of tactical nuclear weapons", she said Monday during a press conference at the Seoul Foreign Correspondents' Club. "There's no point in giving into emotions and backing North Korea into a corner", he said.

If nearby states have reasonable suspicion that ships transiting to North Korea are carrying prohibited items, those ships should undergo inspection by the proper authorities, according to the UN-drafted resolution.

US President Donald Trump's administration is pushing the UN Security Council to adopt a united stance as Kim gets closer to being able to strike the US with a nuclear weapon.

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