UN Security Council Imposes New Sanctions on North Korea

23 December, 2017, 01:57 | Author: Lora Ball
  • US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks with Chinese Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations Wu Haitao ahead of the United Nations Security Council session on imposing new sanctions on North Korea in New York on December 22

On Friday, the United Nations Security Council adopted new sanctions on North Korea after the country launched its latest intercontinental ballistic missile test and experts say the sanctions may seriously hit the country's already struggling economy.

On Friday, the US-initiated draft resolution was supported by all of the 15 member states of the UN Security Council, including Russian Federation and China.

The new restrictions are meant to slash North Korea's imports of refined petroleum products, further restrict shipping and impose a 12-month deadline for expatriate North Korean workers to be sent home.

The sanctions proposed by the U.S. include capping exports of kerosene, gasoline and other refined petroleum products to North Korea at 500,000 barrels a year from January.

President Donald Trump has threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea if it attacks the United States while North Korea insists the world must now accept that it is a nuclear power.

The resolution caps crude oil imports at 4 million barrels a year. The United States stations 28,500 troops in the South, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War. This represents a almost 90 percent ban of refined products, which are key to North Korea's economy, and a reduction from the 2 million barrels a year the council authorized in September.

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To prevent North Korea from circumventing sanctions, all countries were authorized to seize, inspect, freeze and impound ships suspected of carrying illegal cargo to and from North Korea. The measure also prohibits insurance for all North Korean-affiliated vessels.

"We believe maximum pressure today is our best lever to a political and diplomatic solution tomorrow".

North Korea conducted their most successful intercontinental missile launch in November. Japan holds the presidency of the Security Council this month.

The Security Council resolution expresses concern about income from North Korean workers in foreign countries.

The council has also banned exports of North Korean coal, iron, lead, textiles and seafood, and restricted joint ventures.

Asked about the effects of sanctions before these latest proposals were announced, Michael Kirby, who led a United Nations inquiry into human rights abuses in North Korea, said cutting off fuel imports would be "a very serious step".

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