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U.N. approves toughest sanctions on N. Korea in 20 years


    The United Nations Security Council voted on a resolution during a meeting at U.N. headquarters today. The U.N. Security Council voted today on a resolution that would impose the toughest sanctions on North Korea in two decades.


    The ambassador of the Permanent Mission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the United Nations Jang Il Hun, right, was joined by councilor Kwon Jong Gun as he spoke in July 2015 during a news conference at the DPRK mission in New York.

UNITED NATIONS » The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved the toughest sanctions on North Korea in two decades today, reflecting growing anger at Pyongyang’s latest nuclear test and rocket launch in defiance of a ban on all nuclear-related activity.

The United States and North Korea’s traditional ally China spent seven weeks negotiating the new sanctions, which include mandatory inspections of cargo leaving and entering North Korea by land, sea or air; a ban on all sales or transfers of small arms and light weapons to Pyongyang; and expulsion of diplomats from the North who engage in “illicit activities.”

The U.S., its Western allies and Japan pressed for new sanctions that went beyond the North’s nuclear and missile programs but China, Pyongyang’s neighbor, was reluctant to impose measures that could threaten the stability of North Korea and cause its economy to collapse. Nonetheless, Beijing did agree to several economic measures.

The resolution bans the export of coal, iron and iron ore being used to fund North Korea’s nuclear or ballistic missile programs — and it prohibits all exports of gold, titanium ore, vanadium ore and rare earth minerals. It also bans aviation fuel exports to the country, including “kerosene-type rocket fuel.”

“The international community, speaking with one voice, has sent Pyongyang a simple message: North Korea must abandon these dangerous programs and choose a better path for its people,” President Barack Obama said in a statement.

U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power told the council after the vote that “part of the perverse reality that has no equal in this world” is that North Korea prioritizes its nuclear and ballistic missile programs over the basic needs of its own people.

The resolution stresses that the new measures are not intended to have “adverse humanitarian consequences” for civilians, the majority who face economic hardships and food shortages.

In the financial and banking sector, countries are required to freeze the assets of companies and other entities linked to Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs. Under a previous resolution, they were encouraged to do so.

The resolution also prohibits all countries from opening new branches, subsidiaries and representative offices of North Korean banks, and bans financial institutions from establishing new joint ventures or establishing or maintaining correspondent relationships with these banks. It also orders countries to close all North Korean banks and terminate all banking relationships within 90 days.

Under the four rounds of U.N. sanctions imposed since the country’s first nuclear test in 2006, North Korea is banned from importing or exporting nuclear or missile items and technology as well as luxury goods. The new resolution expands the list of banned items, adding luxury items such as expensive watches, snowmobiles, recreational water vehicles and lead crystal.

It also adds 16 individuals, 12 “entities” including the National Aerospace Development Agency which was responsible for February’s rocket launch, and 31 ships owned by the North Korean shipping firm Ocean Maritime Management Company to the sanctions blacklist. That requires the freezing of assets and, in the case of individuals, a travel ban as well.

The resolution bans Pyongyang from chartering vessels or aircraft, and call on countries to “de-register” any vessel owned, operated or crewed by the North.

As with previous resolutions, the test will be whether U.N. member states enforce the sanctions. A U.N. panel of experts monitoring the sanctions has repeatedly pointed out that enforcement in a significant number of cases has been weak.

North Korea has ignored many demands, and tried to circumvent others.

It started off the new year with what it claims was its first hydrogen bomb test on Jan. 6 and followed up with the launch of a satellite on a rocket on Feb. 7. It was condemned by much of the world as a test of banned missile technology.

The resolution calls for a resumption of six-party talks leading to the goal of “the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean peninsula in a peaceful manner.” North Korea withdrew from the talks in 2008.

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    • Send his nuclear missles to Japan, Russia, Germany, Italy, China and Hawaii to start World War III. I am glad I am over the 60% threshold, as far as lifespan, in other words, it don’t matter to me if I go by Taser, Nuclear H-Bomb, speeding Moped, or an ant biting my knee cap.

  • North Korea’s people are already suffering!Now with more sanctions??….OMG! Why aren’t the people of North Korea rebelling against Kim Jong Un dictatorship? It’s Time for the North Korean people to Wake up!

      • Dissent is not an option. Even general officers have been disposed off for questioning the Leader? Threats from the high command are dealt with tragic results.

    • Because there is a massive secret police there that will not only throw you in jail, but your entire extended family for life.

      Try research before making comments like that.

    • True, but Un has been royally irritating China recently, so they may actually get off their tuffs and clamp down as a means of telling him who’s really boss.

  • Trump brings the China, N. Korea relationship up to be addressed by China and “lo and behold” the UN finally imposes sanctions. For those who may not be privy to 50’s the Chinese supported N. Korea with troops and materiel during Korean War (conflict). As the article indicates, this is still in play….

  • China created this monster. Mao Tse-tung supported Kim’s grandfather during the Korean War. If China want to be a factor in the World community; they should act responsibly and take care of this crazy fat dude.

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