UN Security Council imposes new sanctions on North Korea over missile test

The resolution adopted by the Security Council includes sharply lower limits on North Korea's refined oil imports, the return home of all North Koreans working overseas within 24 months, and a crackdown on ships smuggling banned items including coal and oil to and from the country.

USA diplomats have made clear they are seeking a diplomatic solution but proposed the new, tougher sanctions resolution to ratchet up pressure on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. It also requires the expulsion by the end of 2019 of all North Korean expatriate workers who are estimated to earn the government $500 million each year.

Mattis continually said the USA would rather find a diplomatic solution for the Korean Peninsula, but that if the USA needs to take care of the situation militarily, "we expect to make it the worst day in North Korea's life". Last month, the U.S. announced economic sanctions against North Korean shipping and Chinese traders doing business with North Korea.

North Koreans in South Phyongan in a December 3 image released by state media.

"If such sanctions were enforced, they would thus impede and endanger North Korea's economic development".

South Korea welcomed the sanctions and called on the North to "immediately cease reckless provocations, and take the path of dialogue for denuclearization".

Mr. Trump tweeted hours ago that the UN Security Council had voted 15 - 0 for additional sanctions on North Korea.

During previous US administrations, North Korea has been able to use its nuclear weapons program as a bargaining chip for foreign financial and material aid.

In response, Trump said at a UN speech in September: "The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea".

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He said the new sanctions were likely to have a significant impact on its core industries of machinery, chemicals and military equipment.

The resolution, passed on Friday, was drafted by the United States and negotiated with the North's closest ally, China.

North Korea on Nov 29 said it successfully tested a new ICBM that put the United States mainland within range of its nuclear weapons.

The resolution caters to China's concern that if all crude oil were cut off it could prompt Kim to lash out at the USA, sparking a conflict or setting off internal dissent that precipitates the collapse of his regime.

"If economic blockades and diplomatic isolation are not enough to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear programme, the risk of war is severe", he said.

China has signaled it's ready to back another round of United Nations sanctions that will slash exports of fuel to North Korea, according to people familiar with the matter.

The U.N. proposal would also curtail exports of food products, machinery and electrical equipment, and authorize countries to inspect and impound ships suspected of carrying illegal cargo to and from North Korea.

Previous sanctions, however, have not deterred the regime in Pyongyang from developing its nuclear weapons program.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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