UN Security Council unanimously approves new sanctions on North Korea

UN Security Council unanimously approves new sanctions on North Korea

Treasury Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing Marshall Billingslea credited China and Russia's support of the United Nations resolution but said both countries "must do much more" to implement and enforce the sanctions, in the face of Pyongyang's ability to evade restrictions that have been progressively tightened for a decade.

The 15-member council based in NY approved Resolution 2375, which imposes a cap on the supply, sales or transfer of crude oil to North Korea to the level of the past 12 months, some 4 million barrels, and limits exports of refined petroleum products to the country to 2 million barrels a year. "However, we have been able to acquire whatever we wanted".

And the US ambassador, Nikki Haley, says the resolution is meant to starve the regime of the money it needs to develop its nuclear and missile programs.

Still, they noted that the measure could open the way for a complete oil embargo.

North Korea has made rapid progress in its nuclear and missile programmes despite multiple sets of United Nations sanctions, and Go Myong-Hyun at the Asan Institute of Policy Studies said the latest measures were "not enough to cause pain". "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".

"This resolution also puts an end to the regime making money from the 93,000 North Korean citizens it sends overseas to work and heavily taxes", Haley said. "If it proves it can live in peace, the world will live in peace with it", Haley added.

Kim Hyun-Wook, professor at the Korea National Diplomatic Academy, warned there are "no means to check how much crude oil is delivered through the pipeline" between China and North Korea.

"Today's resolution would not have happened without the strong relationship that has developed between President Trump and Chinese President Xi", Haley said. It also bans the sale of condensates and natural gas liquids to the North.

"There is a long way to go before North Korea is going to feel the pressure they would need to feel to change their calculus".

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"The textile ban, inspections paragraphs, and joint ventures language are strong", he added. Textiles are North Korea's main source of export revenue after coal, iron, seafood and other minerals that have already been severely restricted by previous United Nations resolutions.

Beijing does not publish statistics for crude oil shipments to the North, shrouding the issue in secrecy, but is believed to supply around 4 million barrels a year. The U.S. should look to engage diplomatically to find a level of security that North Korea and its neighbors will be happy with, he said. The new resolution provides that on the expiry of the contracts of employment of the expatriates.

While there is little evidence of cooperation on nuclear weapons development between Iran and North Korea, the same can't be said for Syria, according to a Congressional Research Service report.

China's Permanent Representative Liu Jieyi said that the United States must consider what he called the legitimate concerns of all parties and make it a part of its policy towards the region to not seek regime change in Pyongyang or a collapse of the country or an accelerated pace of reunification of the two Koreas.

"Both oppose North Korea to become a full-fledged nuclear state, and both think parallel action from the U.S.is needed to affect any change in the situation".

With it comes another demonstration of how adept Beijing is becoming at inching back and forth along the policy tightrope it has installed between Washington and Pyongyang.

However, the latest resolution fell short of the complete oil embargo called for in an earlier US -drafted resolution, which would have needed the support of veto-wielding members China and Russian Federation. Russia's envoy said Washington's unwillingness to have UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres try to resolve the dispute "gives rise to very serious questions in our minds".

The United States and its allies argue that tougher sanctions will pile pressure on Kim's regime to come to the negotiation table to discuss an end to its nuclear and missile tests.

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