WORLD New UN bans to bite at N Korea
THE UN Security Council has unanimously backed a USdrafted resolution that significantly strengthened sanctions on North Korea, imposing a ban on exports aimed at depriving Pyongyang of $ 1 billion in annual revenue.
The sweeping measures were the first of that scope to be imposed on North Korea since US President Donald Trump took office and highlighted China’s willingness to punish its Pyongyang ally.
The weekend resolution imposed a full ban on exports of coal, iron and iron ore, lead and lead ore as well as fish and seafood by the cash- starved state – stripping North Korea of a third of its export earnings.
US Ambassador Nikki Haley said the stiffer measures brought the penalty imposed on North Korea for its ballistic missile tests “to a whole new level” and put leader Kim Jong- Un “on notice”.
“This is the most stringent set of sanctions on any country in a generation,” Ms Haley told the council after the vote.
“These sanctions will cut deep and in doing so, will give the North Korean leadership a taste of the deprivation they have chosen to inflict on the North Korean people.”
The resolution also prevents North Korea from increasing the number of workers it sends abroad whose earnings are another source of revenue for Kim’s regime. It prohibits all new joint ventures with the isolated nation, bans new investment in the current joint companies and adds nine North Korean officials and four entities – including the country’s main foreign exchange bank – to the UN sanctions blacklist.
Mr Trump hailed the unanimous vote, saying on Twitter the sanctions will have “very big financial impact!”
“The President appreciates China’s and Russia’s cooperation in securing passage of this resolution,” said the White House.
“He will continue working with allies and partners to increase diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea to end its threatening and destabilising behaviour.”
Pyongyang launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile on July 4, which was followed by a second test on July 28.
The new raft of embargoes are the seventh set of UN sanctions imposed on North Korea since it first carried out a nuclear test in 2006.
The resolution came as Japan yesterday marked 72 years since the world’s first nuclear attack on Hiroshima.