UN Security Council imposes tougher sanctions on North Korea
The UN Security Council (UNSC) has voted to impose tougher sanctions on North Korea over its continued nuclear and ballistic missile tests. The sanctions resolution, drafted by the US, includes a provision to cut the North's petrol imports by 90%. The North's two main trading partners, China and Russia, voted in favor of the resolution. These are the tenth round of UNSC sanctions.
Growing nuclear threats from North Korea
There has been a growing nuclear threat from North Korea. In July, it tested an ICBM which purportedly brought the entire US within its strike range. In August, it threatened to launch a nuclear attack on the US-Pacific territory of Guam in response to Trump's threats. In September, Pyongyang tested a Hydrogen-bomb. In November, it test-fired its highest-ever missile which reached a 4,500km altitude.
What the latest sanctions entail?
The latest sanctions limit the exports of petroleum products to North Korea to 500,000 barrels/year, and crude oil to 4 million barrels/year. North Korean citizens working in foreign countries must all return home within 24 months. This would cut-off the North's access to foreign currency. The export of North Korean goods, including electrical equipment and machinery, has been banned.
Trump says sanctions indicate the world wants "peace, not death"
Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, said the latest sanctions send an "unambiguous message to Pyongyang that further defiance will invite further punishments and isolation." US President Donald Trump said the resolution indicated the world wanted, "peace, not death." Chinse ambassador to the UN, Wu Haitao, said the vote "reflects the unanimous position of the international community" regarding North Korea's weapons programme.
Trump welcomes latest sanctions
UNSC sanctions have been ineffective so far
Previous UNSC sanctions banned the imports of North Korean coal, minerals, and statues. The assets of several North Korean officials and entities have been frozen. These sanctions have failed to convince Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear and missile programmes. However, diplomats feel the latest sanctions would bite Pyongyang hard enough to make it change its path.