United Nations new sanctions on North Korea to choke economy

Remigio Civitarese
Settembre 13, 2017

The two countries agreed to the sanctions after they were reduced from what the USA had originally proposed.

That would mean halting massive joint South Korea-U.S. military exercises on North Korea's doorstep if the North halts its nuclear program.

The proposed freeze of Kim's assets overseas was dropped altogether. "That's where we landed". It estimated that North Korea managed to export at least $270 million of banned commodities between February and August. The North Korean leader is said to have invited top military and party officials to the celebration which included artist performances and a photo session with the leader himself, according to news agency KCNA.

That would amount to a 10 percent cut in oil products, according to the US Energy Information Administration, which estimates annual exports to North Korea at almost 2.2 million barrels. European Union countries, including Britain, are pushing for an expulsion of North Korean workers posted in Europe.

The U.N. Security Council adopted a new sanctions resolution against the North earlier in the day that includes heavy restrictions on hiring of North Korean workers overseas.

The United States switched on its $800 million European missile defence umbrella in May a year ago at a site in Romania to protect against Iranian rockets. North Korea has threatened that if harsher sanctions are approved, the US will pay "a due price".

Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told the council it would be a "big mistake to underestimate this Russia-China initiative" for a so-called freeze-for-freeze, adding that Moscow would "insist on it being considered".

Others saw the move as more incremental than substantial.

The sanctions, which were passed at a UN Security Council meeting on Monday, were met with anger by North Korea.

It is not clear how much of that has been realized, and how much of the current measure replicates some of those cuts.

"I would say that United Nations sanctions on North Korea are like an expanding sieve".

North Korea has business interests in parts of Asia, Africa, the Middle East and even Europe that bring in billions of dollars for the regime, despite global sanctions aimed at curbing the country's nuclear program.

He called on anyone aware of efforts to enable North Korean trade to come forward before getting caught, warning: "We are closing in on North Korea's trade representatives".

The United States and China "have two fundamentally different purposes", said Joseph Cirincione, president of the Ploughshares Fund, a San Francisco-based organization that promotes nuclear nonproliferation.

North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations spoke about the sanctions, saying he categorically rejected them.

It would also cap refined petroleum product imports to the North at 500,000 barrels during an initial period of three months from October through December.

"It does sound like US patience is running out", Ruggiero said.

Connolly protested that Trump had branded South Korea's leader, a supporter of diplomacy with North Korea, as an appeaser. It said the USA would pay a heavy price if the sanctions proposed by Washington are adopted.

Others in the administration have pushed for diplomatic openings.

For its part, Pyongyang issued its own threat Monday before the United Nations vote.

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