WORLD New UN bans to bite at N Korea

Townsville Bulletin - - WORLD -

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.

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