Latest UN sanctions go after North Korea's oil supply

Remigio Civitarese
Settembre 13, 2017

The UN Security Council has unanimously voted to step up sanctions on North Korea, with its profitable textile exports now banned and fuel supplies capped, prompting a defiant threat of retaliation against the United States.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at a celebration for nuclear scientists and engineers who contributed to a hydrogen bomb test, in an undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency.

Instead of banning oil imports altogether, the sanctions authorized an annual cap of 2 million barrels of refined petroleum products to North Korea. "We now have more tools in our toolbox and we will continue to use them to put additional sanctions on North Korea until they stop this behavior".

The foreign minister, who will be in NY next week for UN leadership meetings, called on all nations to fully implement the sanctions.

But these latest sanctions, and the unanimity of the vote, should go a long way in further pressuring and isolating the rogue nation from the rest of the world, while encouraging other nations in the region. "Nuclear weapons are our means of self-defense and protection from the United States, which continues its hostile actions and nuclear blackmail", Kim said.

It bars countries from issuing new work permits to North Korean labourers sent overseas - there are some 93,000, providing Kim's regime with a source of revenue to develop its missile and nuclear programmes, according to a USA official familiar with the negotiations.

Billingslea said the USA is "capable of tracking North Korea's trade on banned goods... and we will act even if China does not". "The choice is theirs".

The latest resolution also calls on countries to inspect vessels on the high seas, with the consent of the flag state, if they have reasonable grounds to believe the ships are carrying prohibited cargo to North Korea.

Ambassador Han Tae Song also lashed out at the United States during a plenary session of the U.N.'s Conference on Disarmament, saying North Korea denounces Washington's "evil intention" and would "make sure the US pays a due price".

Earlier, UN banned North Korean exports of coal, ore and other raw materials and limited investments in the country.

The UN action was triggered by North Korea's sixth and largest nuclear test this month.

Despite its limited economic impact, the new sanctions succeed in adding further pressure on Pyongyang without alienating Moscow and Beijing.

WASHINGTON-The Trump administration warned Tuesday that the United States will punish companies in China and Russian Federation that don't comply with restrictions in the new global sanctions on North Korea. And why could the Security Council not even pass a resolution on the plight of the Rohingyas?

Shortly after the test, Seoul reportedly reached an agreement with Washington that would see it remove the warhead weight limits on the South's ballistic missiles as it looks to develop a so-called "Frankenmissile" capable of destroying its neighbour's underground testing bunkers.

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