Home World Asia News UN Security Council Agrees on Fresh Sanctions Against North Korea

UN Security Council Agrees on Fresh Sanctions Against North Korea


The UN Security Council has agreed on fresh sanctions against North Korea over its missile program.

A resolution banning North Korean exports and limiting investments in the country was passed unanimously.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said it was “the most stringent set of sanctions on any country in a generation”.

North Korea tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July, claiming it now had the ability to hit the US.

However, experts doubt the capability of the missiles to hit their targets.

The tests were condemned by South Korea, Japan and the US, and prompted the drafting of the new UN sanctions.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is attending a regional forum of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Manila, in the Philippines, with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho also present.

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According to US officials, North Korea’s nuclear program is expected to be a major issue but there are no plans for a bilateral meeting.

Speaking as he sat down for talks with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, Rex Tillerson said the sanctions were a “good outcome”.

President Donald Trump tweeted to say the sanctions would cost North Korea more than $1 billion.

The export of coal, ore and other raw materials to China is one of North Korea’s few sources of cash. Estimates say that North Korea exports about $3 billion worth of goods each year – and the sanctions could eliminate $1 billion of that trade.

Earlier this year, China suspended imports of coal to increase pressure on North Korea.

However, repeated sanctions have so far failed to deter Pyongyang from continuing with its missile development.

Ambassador Nikki Haley said the Security Council had increased the penalty for North Korea’s ballistic missile activity “to a whole new level”.

“Today the Security Council has come together to put the North Korean dictator on notice,” she told the council after the vote on August 5.

“North Korea’s irresponsible and careless acts have just proved to be costly for the regime.”

Meanwhile, North Korea’s ruling-party newspaper Rodong Sinmun said nuclear action or sanctions taken by Washington would lead to an “unimaginable sea of fire” engulfing the US.

The article, printed before the new UN sanctions were approved, added that if the US did not move away from its “hostile policy towards Pyongyang, the only choice for the US is self-destruction”.

China, North Korea’s only international ally and a veto-wielding member of the UN Security Council, voted in favor of the resolution this time. China has often protected North Korea from harmful resolutions in the past.

In Manila, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the sanctions were “necessary” but were “not the ultimate purpose”.

“Our purpose is to bring all parties involved in the nuclear issues back to negotiation table, finding the resolutions through talks to realize the denuclearization of Korean peninsula,” he told journalists.

North Korea’s repeated missile and nuclear weapon tests have been condemned by neighbors in the region.

However, South Korea says it may hold direct talks with the North during the ASEAN summit.

South Korea’s foreign minister said she was willing to talk to her counterpart from Pyongyang, if the chance “naturally occurs”.

Altogether, 27 nations are sending representatives to the ASEAN forum.

ASEAN’s 10 member states issued a joint statement saying they had “grave concerns” over North Korea’s actions, which “seriously threaten peace”.