Russia

U.N. Security Council Adopts New Sanctions Against North Korea

9/13/17
from The Wall Street Journal,
9/11/17:

Unanimous vote came after the U.S. rolled back its initial insistence on a complete oil embargo

The United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted new sanctions against North Korea on Monday after U.S. officials eased their demands to convince China and Russia to approve the measure. The U.S., which drafted the initial resolution while pledging the harshest possible sanctions yet, rolled back its initial insistence on a complete oil embargo and asset and travel freezes targeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, diplomats said. Despite the compromises, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said of the adopted resolution: “This will cut deep.”

“Today we are saying the world will never accept a nuclear armed North Korea,” she said, crediting the accord to the “strong relationship” between President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping. “We are not looking for war. North Korea has not yet passed the point of no return,” Ms. Haley said.

The resolution targets North Korea’s export economy, sanctioning 90% of its annual revenue, diplomats said. It will reduce oil imports by North Korea by 30%, placing an annual cap of 2 million barrels on refined petroleum products such as gasoline and diesel and capping crude oil at about 4 million barrels, U.S. officials said. The U.N. measure also completely bans natural gas imports. North Korea now imports a total of 8.5 million barrels of oil a year, mostly from China, said a U.S. official.

The resolution also imposes an embargo on all textile trade and requires inspections and monitoring of North Korea’s sea vessels by member states. But it stops short of providing for the use of military force to gain access to the ships. The textile industry, the last big economic sector that hadn’t yet been targeted in North Korea, accounted for $760 million in 2016 revenue, U.S. officials said. A proposed ban on North Korean foreign workers, a source of hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue to the regime, was reworded to allow countries to employ North Korean nationals if deemed vital for humanitarian reasons. Current contracts on the workers, estimated to number around 93,000 from Russia to Africa, will be phased out and not renewed, diplomats said. China and Russia, economic and political allies of North Korea who both hold U.N. Security Council veto power, said they endorsed the new sanctions because of Pyongyang’s repeated violations of Council resolutions banning it from conducting nuclear and ballistic missile tests.

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