United Nations votes for more sanctions on North Korea

by Joy Montgomery August 7, 2017, 0:57
United Nations votes for more sanctions on North Korea

The new UN Security Council resolution that imposes tougher sanctions against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is all about preventing chaos and conflict on the Korean Peninsula, said Chinese ambassador to the United Nations Liu Jieyi on Saturday.

"It's going to hit hard but it's going to make a strong point to North Korea that all this ICBM and this nuclear irresponsibility has to stop".

The latest resolution is the eighth adopted by the Security Council since 2006 in response to North Korea's five nuclear tests and long-range missile launches. It bans all exports of DPRK's coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood. Additional sanctions target North Korea's arms smuggling, joint ventures with foreign companies, banks, and other sources of revenue.

According to the diplomat, coal has been North Korea's largest export, earning $1.2 billion past year which was then restricted by the Security Council to a maximum $400 million.

The Security Council has already imposed six rounds of sanctions that have failed to halt North Korea's drive to improve its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons capabilities.

China, as a permanent member of the UNSC, upheld an impartial and objective position and played a responsible and constructive role in the process of the adoption of the resolution, he said.

The comments came as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was in the Philippines for a regional summit expected to focus heavily on concerns with North Korea.

China fears a spread of USA influence in the region, though China and the US agree on wanting to stop North Korea's nuclear development.

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Moreover, it subjects nine North Korean individuals and four entities to asset freezes and travel bans.

"The North Korean threat has not left us".

Though the economic sanctions have teeth, Washington didn't get everything it wanted.

Russian Federation and China have advocated a freeze-for-freeze approach, whereby the USA and South Korea would halt their military exercises and North Korea would do the same. This year, Pyongyang was estimated to earn $251 million from iron and iron ore exports, $113 million from lead and lead ore exports, and $295 million from seafood exports, the diplomat said.

Negotiations for the new resolution began after Pyongyang conducted its first test of an ICBM on July 4. The Mansudae Overseas Project Group of Companies, which was also added to the list, is described in the draft resolution as engaged in exporting workers for construction, including of monuments, in Africa and Southeast Asia.

The measures would be the seventh set of United Nations sanctions imposed on North Korea since it first carried out a nuclear test in 2006. Despite that, the US and two previous South Korean governments "essentially bought into a sanctions approach to try and stop North Korea", says John Delury, a North Korea watcher who teaches global relations at Seoul's Yonsei University.

The resolution reiterates language from previous ones supporting a return to six-party talks with the goal of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula; expressing the Security Council's commitment "to a peaceful, diplomatic and political solution to the situation"; and stressing the importance of maintaining peace and stability in northeast Asia.


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