United Nations to vote on tougher North Korea sanctions

08 August, 2017, 00:46 | Author: Colin Gill
  • UN security council to bring fresh sanctions against North Korea over missiles

The North Korea standoff was expected to dominate Monday's ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), which gathers 27 foreign ministers - including those of Japan, Russia, the United States, China and North and South Korea - to discuss security issues.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley called the resolution "the single largest economic sanctions package ever leveled against the North Korean regime" and "the most stringent set of sanctions on any country in a generation". But we must not fool ourselves into thinking we have solved the problem.

He said: "North Korea bears full responsibility for the measures we have enacted today". Following its second test on July 28, the US reached a deal on the sanctions with China, the North's top trading partner and ally. But there were no signs the US would acquiesce to China's call for a quick return to negotiations.

President Trump said the move would have a "very big financial impact" on the reclusive state. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (L) speaks as South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-Se (R) looks on during a press conference in Seoul on March 17, 2017.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said he had urged his North Korean counterpart to abide by United Nations resolutions and end testing of missiles. It is based on the Chinese idea of a "double freezing" of both the missile and nuclear testing by the DPRK and the large-scale joint military exercises by the USA and the South Korea, plus "parallel advance" towards a full denuclearization of the Peninsula. -South Korean military exercises have been carried out regularly and openly for almost 40 years and "they will continue".

In the meantime, the push to isolate North Korea continues, including in Manila.

The Security Council has already imposed six rounds of sanctions that have failed to halt North Korea's drive to improve its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons capabilities.

Even as the top United States diplomat seeks to ratchet up the pressure, he threw an olive branch to North Korea during remarks to the press on Tuesday: "We hope that at some point, they will begin to understand that and that we would like to sit and have a dialogue with them about the future that will give them the security they seek", he said.

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The latest, USA -drafted resolution bans North Korean exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood and prohibits countries from hiring additional North Korean laborers.

If fully implemented, it would strip North Korea of a 3rd of its export earnings - estimated to total $3 billion per year despite successive rounds of sanctions since the North's first nuclear test in 2006.

It would also forbid countries to take in more North Korean laborers, enter into new joint ventures with North Korea or invest more in current ones.

Moreover, it subjects nine North Korean individuals and four entities to asset freezes and travel bans.

Tillerson also met Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and was to see Wang later on Sunday, seeking to intensify Kim Jong-Un's diplomatic isolation and reduce the risk of renewed conflict.

Despite initial opposition, Russian Federation also approved the resolution.

It notes United Nations findings that well over half the population lacks sufficient food and medical care, while a quarter suffers from chronic malnutrition. The diplomat, who briefed reporters on the content of the draft, said he had "high confidence" that China and Russian Federation would support the proposed sanctions.

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