Watch­ing closely

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.

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