UN to vote on watered-down new sanctions against North Korea
The UN Security Council was scheduled to vote late Monday on a new, watered-down sanctions resolution against North Korea that eliminates initial U.S. demands to ban all oil imports to the country and freeze international assets of the government and its leader Kim Jong Un.
The draft resolution, agreed to late Sunday after final negotiations between the U.S. and China, the North’s ally and main trading partner, also eliminates a U.S. proposal to authorize the use of force to board nine named ships, which it said violated previous UN sanctions resolutions, to carry out inspections.
The new draft, obtained Monday by The Associated Press, would ban North Korea from importing natural gas liquids and condensates and cap its import of refined petroleum products and crude oil.
It would ban all textile exports and prohibit all countries from authorizing new work permits for North Korean workers — two key sources of hard currency. It would also ban all new and existing joint ventures and cooperative entities unless they are “non-commercial, public utility infrastructure projects not generating profit” that are approved by the UN.
The revised resolution would condemn “in the strongest terms” the latest nuclear test, which Pyongyang said was of a hydrogen bomb, calling it a “flagrant” violation of previous council resolutions banning all nuclear tests.
North Korea’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement early Monday saying it was watching the United States’ moves closely and warned that it was “ready and willing” to respond with measures of its own. It said the U.S. would pay a heavy
price if the sanctions proposed by Washington are adopted.
Britain’s UN 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.”
Rycroft told reporters who questioned the watering down of the initial U.S. text that “there is a significant prize in keeping the whole of the Security Council
united and I very much hope that all my council colleagues will vote in favour of the revised draft.” He said he expects China and Russia to support it.
In significant changes from the complete ban on all oil imports in the original U.S. text, the revised resolution would require all countries to cap crude oil imports to North Korea at the level they supplied, sold or transferred during the 12-month period before the resolution’s adoption.
A news magazine with front cover photos of U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and a headline “Korean Peninsula Crisis” is displayed at the Dong-A Ilbo building in Seoul, South Korea.