The United Nations Security Council unanimously approved new sanctions on North Korea on Saturday which include banning exports worth over $1billion.
The move to reduce its export revenue by a third is in response to Pyongyang’s two intercontinental ballistic missile tests last month.
The resolution adopted Saturday afternoon will also ban countries from giving any additional permits to North Korean laborers – another source of money for Kim Jong Un’s regime.
The US drafted measure, negotiated with North Korea’s neighbor and ally China, is aimed at increasing economic pressure on Pyongyang to return to negotiations on its nuclear and missile programs.
It follows North Korea’s first successful tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States.
The resolution bans North Korea from exporting coal, iron, lead and seafood products estimated to be worth over $1billion.
This represents one-third of its total exports last year, estimated at $3 billion.
The United States “is taking and will continue to take prudent defensive measures to protect ourselves and our allies” from the threat posed by North Korea, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said yesterday evening.
“The North Korean threat … is rapidly growing more dangerous,” she told the UN Security Council after the 15-member body unanimously voted to impose new sanctions.
“Further action is required,” she added.
The resolution also adds nine individuals and four entities to the UN blacklist, including North Korea’s primary foreign exchange bank, subjecting them to a global asset freeze and travel ban.
The sweeping measures are the first of that scope to be imposed on North Korea since US President Donald Trump took office and highlighted China’s willingness to punish its ally.
The United States entered into negotiations with China a month ago on the new resolution after North Korea launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile on July 4 which was followed by a second test on July 28.
But the measure does not provide for cuts to oil deliveries to North Korea as initially proposed by the United States – a move that would have dealt a serious blow to the economy.
The new raft of measures are the seventh set of UN sanctions imposed on North Korea since it first carried out a nuclear test in 2006, but these have failed to compel Pyongyang to change its behaviour.
The United States has put heavy pressure on China, which accounts for 90 percent of trade with North Korea,…