UN security council slaps 'most stringent' sanctions on North Korea | world-news | Hindustan Times
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UN security council slaps 'most stringent' sanctions on North Korea

Initiated by the United States, the new sanctions are the most severe yet and will affect North Korea’s major exports — coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood.

world Updated: Aug 06, 2017 21:03 IST
Yashwant Raj
British ambassador to the United Nations Matthew Rycroft (left) and US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley vote during a security council meeting on new sanctions on North Korea on August 5, 2017 at the UN headquarters.
British ambassador to the United Nations Matthew Rycroft (left) and US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley vote during a security council meeting on new sanctions on North Korea on August 5, 2017 at the UN headquarters.(AP)

In a unanimous vote on Saturday, the United Nations security council put a third of North Korea’s annual $3 billion exports under sanctions for continuing to violate the world body’s resolutions prohibiting it from conducting nuclear and missile tests.

Initiated by the United States, the new sanctions are the most severe yet and will affect its major exports — coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood.

The sanctions also apply to North Korea’s Foreign Trade Bank and prohibits it from increasing the number of workers it sends abroad, whose earnings contribute the country’s foreign exchange revenues.

The sanctions marked a major diplomatic victory for US President Donald Trump, who tweeted, “United Nations Resolution is the single largest economic sanctions package ever on North Korea. Over one billion dollars in cost to NK.”

His ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, called the sanctions the “most stringent … in a generation” and said that “they will cut deep, and in doing so, will give the North Korean leadership a taste of the deprivation they have chosen to inflict on the North Korean people”.

The new sanctions came in the aftermath of North Korea in July conducting two tests of intercontinental ballistic missile, which experts say could potentially reach the US mainland.

The unanimous vote also reflected Beijing’s growing impatience with Pyongyang. China has long been North Korea’s largest trading partner and, possibly its only ally providing it cover in times of global outrage caused by its nuclear and missile tests.

Trump had earlier sought to outsource the North Korea issue — he had been greeted by a string of tests by Kim Jong-un since his inauguration in January — to China urging it to use its considerable clout to rein in its tests. That didn’t go too well according to him when he accused Beijing of failing to match its words with action. It’s been “just talk”, he fumed in a tweet.

India, which is North Korea’s second largest trading partner, notified compliance in April with an earlier UN sanction banning export of all goods — except food and medicines — that could be used in nuclear or missile programmes.