UN Security Council adopts new North Korea sanctions

UN Security Council adopts new North Korea sanctions

The Security Council unanimously stepped up sanctions against North Korea on Monday over the country's sixth and most powerful nuclear test, imposing a ban on its textile exports and capping imports of crude oil.

The sanctions also prohibit nations from authorizing new work permits to North Korean citizens around the world.

A USA official, familiar with the council negotiations and speaking on condition of anonymity, said North Korea imported about 4.5 million barrels of refined petroleum products annually and 4 million barrels of crude oil.

Haley noted that the council was meeting on the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack.

David von Hippel, an energy expert with the Nautilus Institute think tank who has done extensive research on North Korea, said he doubts that oil sanctions will hit the regime very hard.

The news comes as Peru said it was expelling North Korea's ambassador over the country's refusal to end its nuclear programme. "We are done trying to prod the regime to do the right thing" and instead are taking steps to prevent it "from doing the wrong thing".

"My delegation condemns in the strongest terms and categorically rejects the latest illegal and unlawful U.N. Security Council resolution", he said.

"If it agrees to stop its nuclear program it can reclaim its future", she said. Pyongyang claims it tested a hydrogen bomb capable of sitting atop a ballistic missile.

The final agreement was reached after negotiations between the US and China, the North's ally and major trading partner. "Our military has never been stronger", he added. Russia's exports of crude oil to North Korea are about 40,000 tonnes a year.

Textiles are North Korea's second-biggest export after coal and other minerals in 2016, totaling $752 million, according to data from the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency.

The textile ban is significant.

The resolution does ban North Korea from importing all natural gas liquids and condensates. Some 90 percent of North Korea's exports are destined for China.

North Korea's top envoy to a leading United Nations disarmament body said Tuesday his country "categorically" rejects the new sanctions.

Additionally, the new measures will prevent overseas workers from earning wages that finance the North Korean regime - over $500 million each year - in addition to cutting off foreign investments, technology transfers and other economic cooperation, according to a statement from the United States mission to the UN.

"No North Korean worker will be permitted to work overseas once their current contracts are completed".

The measures to punish Pyongyang for its September 3 nuclear test also ban the country from importing natural gas liquids and condensates, and limit the import of refined petroleum products to 2 million barrels a year.

The new measures are sure to cause North Korea more economic pain. The resolution adds only the Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party of Korea and the party's powerful Organization and Guidance Department and its Propaganda and Agitation Department to the sanctions blacklist.

The North Korean ambassador branded the move as "ignorant" and said disagreement over the country's nuclear program was an issue for the United States and "has nothing to do with Mexico". It said the USA would pay a heavy price if the sanctions proposed by Washington are adopted. "We are not looking for war", U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the council after the vote.

"We don't take pleasure in further strengthening sanctions today".

"We have to hope that the seriousness of this threat puts us on the path of reason before it is too late", said Guterres in the French Sunday newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche.

A Security Council resolution needs nine votes in favour and no vetoes by permanent members Britain, the United States, France, Russia or China to pass. The world braced for another possible intercontinental ballistic missile launch last weekend during its founding day celebration, however, the launch didn't come on the expected date.

Peru said it would 'carry out all diplomatic efforts aimed at denuclearizing the North Korean peninsula'.

Liu again urged the council to adopt the freeze-for-freeze proposal and said talks with North Korea are needed "sooner rather than later".

The U.S. withdrew them in 1991.

Making them small enough to fit on a missile is a challenging task, and one that North Korea claims to have achieved.

South Korea and Japan welcomed the new sanctions, with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe praising "a remarkably tough sanctions resolution". But China said after Monday's vote it supported the resolution.

"There's no only-sanctions strategy that will bring the North Koreans to heel", said Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, a disarmament advocacy group based in Washington. "It would be great if something else could be worked out", he said.

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