United Nations: The UN Security Council unanimously backed a US-drafted resolution to strengthen sanctions on North Korean exports in response to Pyongyang's intercontinental ballistic missile tests.
The 15-member body on Saturday strongly condemned North Korea’s ballistic missile launches on 3 and 28 July which the country has stated were of "intercontinental" range.
The US-drafted resolution includes the strongest sanctions ever imposed in response to a North Korean ballistic missile test and targets its main exports, slashing their annual revenue by $1 billion.
"The security council increased the penalty of North Korea's ballistic missile activity to a whole new level. North Korea’s irresponsible and careless acts have just proved to be quite costly to the regime.
"This resolution is the single largest economic sanctions package ever leveled against the North Korean regime. The price the North Korean leadership will pay for its continued nuclear and missile development will be the loss of one-third of its exports and hard currency. This is the most stringent set of sanctions on any country in a generation," US permanent representative to the UN ambassador Nikki Haley said.
"The United States is taking – and will continue to take – prudent defensive measures to protect ourselves and our allies. Our annual joint military exercises, for instance, are transparent, and defense-oriented. They have been carried out regularly and openly for nearly 40 years. They will continue.
"Our goal remains a stable Korean peninsula, at peace, without nuclear weapons. We want only security and prosperity for all nations – including North Korea. Until then, this resolution and prior ones will be implemented to the fullest to maximize pressure on North Korea to change its ways," she said.
The council reaffirmed previous council decisions that North Korea not conduct further launches using ballistic missile technology, nuclear tests, or any other provocation.
The UNSC moved to significantly strengthen the sanctions on North Korea, imposing a full ban on the export of coal, iron and iron ore from the country. Previously these items could be exported for livelihood purposes, for a limited amount.
The council also prohibited countries from increasing the total number of work authorisations for North Korean nationals. It banned new joint ventures or cooperative entities with North Korean entities or individuals as well as additional investments in existing joint ventures.
Member states are requested to report to the UNSC, within 90 days of the adoption of this resolution, on concrete measures they have taken to effectively implement this resolution.
The council also designated several additional individuals for a travel ban and assets freeze, as well as designating entities for an assets freeze.
On the political front, the council calls for resumption of the Six-Party Talks and reiterated its support for the commitments set forth in the joint statement of September 2005 issued by China, North Korea, Japan, south Korea, Russia and the United States.
The commitments included that the goal of the six-party talks is the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner, and that the United States and the North Korean respect each other's sovereignty and exist together peacefully.
Updated Date: Aug 06, 2017 10:44 AM