U.N. Security Council approves new sanctions against North Korea, but no oil import ban

September 12, 2017


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 action comes after North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test just over a week ago, which it claimed was a hydrogen bomb. The Trump administration had proposed harsher restrictions placed on Pyongyang last week, especially on oil.

But a compromise resolution apparently was worked out in negotiations with Russia and China, which favor a political solution and have said that additional sanctions would have a limited impact. Both countries could veto any new resolution. China is also North Korea’s biggest trade partner.

“Today we are saying the world will never accept a nuclear armed North Korea,” U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley told the council after the vote. “We are done trying to prod the regime to do the right thing” and now are instead taking steps to prevent it “from doing the wrong thing.”

She pointed out that the U.S. does not want war, saying “North Korea has not yet passed the point of no return.”

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 new sanctions 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 AP said.

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.

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.

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.

A North Korean soldier stands on the bank of the Yalu

A North Korean soldier stands on the bank of the Yalu river near the North Korean town of Sinuiju, opposite the Chinese border city of Dandong, in China’s northeast Liaoning province on Sept. 4, 2017.  AFP

The North ”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 in a statement.




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