UN Security Council imposes new sanctions on North Korea | Inquirer News

UN Security Council imposes new sanctions on North Korea

/ 07:56 AM December 23, 2017

UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations Security Council unanimously approved on Friday tough new sanctions against North Korea in response to its latest launch of a ballistic missile, which Pyongyang claimed could reach the United States mainland.

The resolution adopted by the council includes sharply lower limits on North Korea’s oil imports, the return home of all North Koreans working overseas within 24 months, and a crackdown on ships smuggling banned items including coal and oil to and from the country.


But the resolution does not include even harsher measures sought by the Trump administration that would ban all oil imports and freeze international assets of the government and its leader, Kim Jong Un.

The resolution, drafted by the United States and negotiated with China, drew criticism from Russia for the short time the 13 other council nations had to consider the draft, and last-minute changes to the text. Two of those changes were extending the deadline for North Korean workers to return home from 12 months to 24 months and reducing the number of North Koreans being put on the UN sanctions blacklist from 19 to 15.


After the vote, US Ambassador Nikki Haley said: “(T)he unity this council has shown in leveling these unprecedented sanctions is a reflection of the international outrage at the Kim regime’s actions.”

She recalled that the previous sanctions resolution, when combined with earlier measures, would ban over 90 percent of North Korea’s exports reported in 2016.

That resolution, adopted in response to North Korea’s sixth and strongest nuclear test explosion on September 3, banned North Korea from importing all natural gas liquids and condensates. It also banned all textile exports and prohibited any country from authorizing new work permits for North Korean workers — two key sources of hard currency for the northeast Asian nation.

Haley told the council on Friday that the new resolution “bans all remaining categories of major North Korean exports — a loss of nearly $250 million in revenue to the regime.”

Here are key provisions of the new sanctions:

—The import of refined oil products, including diesel and kerosene that are key to North Korea’s economy, is capped at 500,000 barrels a year. The US Mission said North Korea imported 4.5 million barrels of refined petroleum in 2016. The new cap represents a nearly 90 percent ban of refined products, and a reduction from the 2 million barrels a year the council authorized in the September resolution.

—The import of crude oil is capped at 4 million barrels a year and countries supplying oil are required to provide quarterly reports to the Security Council committee monitoring sanctions on North Korea.


—North Korea is banned from exporting food and agriculture products, machinery, electrical equipment, earth and stones, wood and vessels — and all countries are banned from importing these items.

—All countries are banned from exporting industrial machinery, transportation vehicles, iron, steel and other metals to North Korea.

—All countries must expel North Korean workers and safety monitors by the end of 2019. The resolution expresses concern that earnings from these workers are being used to support the country’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

According to the US Mission, there are nearly 100,000 overseas North Korean workers, with about 50,000 in China and 30,000 in Russia.

—UN member states are authorized to seize, inspect and impound any ship in their ports or territorial waters suspected of being involved in illegal smuggling and evasion of UN sanctions. The resolution expresses “great concern” that North Korea is illegally exporting coal and other prohibited items “through deceptive maritime practices and obtaining petroleum illegally through ship-to-ship transfers.”

—All countries are banned from providing insurance or re-insurance to North Korean-affiliated ships believed to be involved in illegal smuggling and sanctions evasion, and required to de-register these vessels.

—15 North Koreans, including 13 representing banks overseas, and the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces were added to the UN sanctions blacklist. The two others facing a travel ban and asset freeze are Kim Jong Sik, identified as a leading official guiding North Korea’s development of weapons of mass destruction, and Ri Pyong Chul, an alternate member of the Political Bureau of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea and first vice director of the Munitions Industry Department.

North Korea’s test on November 29 of its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) yet was its 20th launch of a ballistic missile this 2017, and added to fears that it will soon have a military arsenal that can viably target the US mainland.

British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said the Security Council was sending “a very strong united signal to the North Korean regime that enough is enough — that they must stop their nuclear program and they must stop their intercontinental ballistic missile program.”

France’s UN ambassador, Francois Delattre, said: “We believe maximum pressure today is our best lever to a political and diplomatic solution tomorrow … (and) our best antidote to the risk of war.”

The new resolution reiterated the Security Council’s regret at North Korea’s “massive diversion of its scarce resources toward its development of nuclear weapons and a number of expensive ballistic missile programs.” It notes that 41 percent of the population is undernourished.

The resolution reaffirmed the council’s support for a resumption of six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear program aimed at the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

It also reiterated the importance of maintaining peace and stability in northeast Asia and “expresses its commitment to a peace, diplomatic and political solution to the situation … through dialogue.”                        /kga

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: ICBM, North korea, nuclear, Sanctions, UN
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.