Monday, September 25

North Korea hit by new United Nations sanctions

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North Korea has been hit by a new set of United Nations sanctions following the country’s latest nuclear test on 3 September.

The sanctions target gas and oil imports and ban textile exports from the secretive state, as well as limiting the number of foreign workers it can send abroad.

The resolution imposes a ban on condensates and natural gas liquids, a cap of two million barrels a year on refined petroleum products, and a cap on crude oil exports to North Korea at current levels. China supplies most of North Korea’s crude.

But consensus has come at a cost.

In order to ensure the support of Russia and North Korea’s only major ally, China, Western diplomats had to weaken parts of the resolution, including freezing the assets of leader Kim Jong Un.

US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said: “These are by far the strongest measures ever imposed on North Korea.

“Today we are saying that the world will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea.”

Speaking on the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, she said: “We will never forget that those who have evil intentions must be confronted.”

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said the sanctions “aren’t perfect”, but were a “step forward” in increasing international pressure on Pyongyang.

He told Sky News: “These sanctions to toughen up the action we’re taking on the regime. For example, they restrict the amount of money that North Korean workers can go and earn abroad and send back to the North Korean regime.

“So they will help starve the North Korean regime of the money that it’s been using from abroad to continue its nuclear programme.

“One way or another we have to get this nuclear programme stopped because it is a threat to all of us. I’ve pointed out this involves us, we are closer to these nuclear weapons than Los Angeles.”

British ambassador to the UN Matthew Rycroft said: “There is a significant prize in keeping the whole of the Security Council united.

“We are tightening the screw, and we stand prepared to tighten it further.”

The unanimously passed resolution will impose the latest in a string of sanctions.

China’s big four state-owned banks have also stopped providing financial services to new clients from North Korea, according to branch staff.

Concerns have been raised by the US that Beijing has not done enough in the face of repeated nuclear tests by the North Korean regime.

China Construction Bank (CCB) has “completely prohibited business with North Korea”, a bank teller at the company told Reuters.

Pyongyang appears unbowed, threatening that America would pay a “price” for spearheading the measures against it.

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