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United Nations imposes tough sanctions on North Korea

13 Septembre 2017

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.

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".

Professor Joseph DeThomas of Pennsylvania State University, a former USA ambassador and State Department official who dealt with North Korea, said the US demand for quick council action is "an indicator of how the administration thinks time has run out".

A U.S. official, familiar with the council negotiations and speaking on condition of anonymity, said North Korea imports some 4.5 million barrels of refined petroleum products annually and four million barrels of crude oil.

The South Korean government welcome the resolution, calling it a "grave warning that (North Korea's) continued provocations will only intensify its diplomatic isolation and economic pressure".

To hide the fact that the coal is from North Korea, the resource has been exported through third countries or disguised as different items, in many cases.

Banning all North Korean textile exports, which earned the regime an average of US$760 million in recent years.

When these new stronger sanctions are added to those passed last month, over 90 per cent of North Korea's publicly reported exports are now fully banned.

Song Zhongping, a Beijing-based commentator on military affairs, said China should be prepared for an increase in Patriot and Tomahawk missiles in the region, as well as other weapons capable of hitting North Korean weapons facilities. North Koreans already working overseas can continue their work until their original permits expire.

The UK ambassador to the UN, Matthew Rycroft, was asked why he thought the new sanctions would change North Korean behaviour considering the eight earlier resolutions had failed.

"The North Korean regime is still getting some fuel supplies from China, which can keep its most essential operations functioning", he said.

While the limits on fuel were something of a compromise, some experts see the ban on textile sales as a significant measure.

United Nations diplomats said that a ministerial-level Security Council meeting on North Korea could be held during the high-level debate of the General Assembly starting on 19 September.

"Nikki should be careful with her tongue though she might be a blind fool", KCNA said.

Also the resolution flagged, but did not implement a ban on renewing the contracts of close to 100,000 North Korean guest workers, most of whom work in Russia's far east, and who repatriate salaries worth an estimated $US500 million a year.

He also thanked him for Australia's co-operation regarding efforts to ensure tougher sanctions through the security council resolution.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who called the nuclear risk in North Korea the most unsafe crisis in the world today, told reporters Tuesday that "the unity of the Security Council is absolutely crucial".

He said that the regime's advances in missile technology are complicating Japan's ability to intercept them.

United Nations imposes tough sanctions on North Korea