After US Compromise, Security Council Strengthens North Korea Sanctions

Elias Hubbard
September 13, 2017

English edition of Asharq Al-Awsat - the world's premier pan-Arab daily.

The UN Security Council has imposed new sanctions on North Korea in opposition to North Korea's sixth nuclear test.

As expected, and continuing the merry-go-round, North Korea has responded by saying that "if the U.S. adheres to sanctions and pressure it will face unprecedentedly resolute counteraction it can not hold control of".

Japan and South Korea on Tuesday said after the passage of the USA -drafted Security Council resolution that they were prepared to apply more pressure if North Korea refused to end its aggressive development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

The 15-member council based in NY approved Resolution 2375, which imposes a cap on the supply, sales or transfer of crude oil to North Korea to the level of the past 12 months, some 4 million barrels, and limits exports of refined petroleum products to the country to 2 million barrels a year.

The resolution bars countries from issuing new permits to the roughly 93,000 North Korean labourers working overseas.

However, North Korea has rejected the sanctions.

Mnuchin told a conference broadcast on CNBC that China agreed to "historic" sanctions on North Korea on Monday in a UN Security Council vote.

She stressed: "These steps only work if all nations implement them completely and aggressively".

Chinese gasoline exports to the North fell sharply - to just 120 tons in July, compared to 8,262 tons in June - following a decision by China's state-owned oil company, China National Petroleum Corporation, to cut sales due to concerns that North Korea is too high a credit risk.

"We are done trying to prod the regime to do the right thing", Haley said after the vote. After the turn of the century, Iran admitted to purchasing North Korean missiles, but announced that it no longer needed assistance. If it agrees to stop its nuclear program, it can reclaim its future.

The final agreement was reached after negotiations between the United States and China, the North's ally and major trading partner.

"It is dark and it's getting darker", Haley said.

The New York Times examines (paywall) trade along the border of China and North Korea, writing that "China has increased its exports to North Korea...apparently selling on credit", even as it has decreased the amount of imports from the country.

The new resolution ends natural gas shipments to North Korea, caps crude oil shipments at their current levels, and puts a ceiling on refined oil products such as petrol and diesel. The ban on textiles has not been a problem.

Russian smugglers are ignoring economic sanctions on North Korea and delivering petroleum and other supplies, The Washington Post reports. North Korean textile exports in 2016 totaled $752.5 million, accounting for about one-fourth of its total $3 billion in merchandise exports, according to South Korean government figures.

"If the goal of the sanctions is to create difficulties for ordinary workers and their ability to make a livelihood, then a ban on textiles will work", said Paul Tjia, an outsourcing specialist who regularly visits North Korea.

Earlier, UN banned North Korean exports of coal, ore and other raw materials and limited investments in the country.

The North's Organization and Guidance Department (OGD), the Central Military Commission, and the Propaganda and Agitation Department - which controls the country's state media - also made the UN's list of designated entities.

Han Tae Song also lashed out at the United States during a plenary session of the UN's Conference on Disarmament, saying Pyongyang denounces Washington's "evil intention" and would "make sure the USA pays a due price". By its sanctions, each time more severe, the United Nations wants to push Pyongyang to negotiate on its nuclear weapons programmes and conventional, that are deemed threatening to the world stability.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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