The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a new set of draconian US-drafted sanctions on North Korea that will further strangle its energy supplies and tighten restrictions on smuggling and the use of North Korean workers overseas.
UN adopts tough new sanctions on North Korea
Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, claimed that the new sanctions, levied in response to Pyongyang’s November 29 ballistic missile test, went even further than sanctions passed in September that, at the time, were called the toughest yet.
« Today, we cut deeper, » Haley said. She said the UN had repeatedly offered Pyongyang a choice and repeatedly, in its continued missile tests, the regime had « chosen the path of isolation. »
Hailing the unity of the Security Council vote and referring to leader Kim Jong Un, Haley said that, « we will continue to match the Kim regime’s choice of aggressive action with actions of international sanctions. » North Korea, she said, is « this most tragic example of evil in the modern world. »
President Donald Trump chimed in with a tweet noting the vote. « The United Nations Security Council just voted 15-0 in favor of additional Sanctions on North Korea. The World wants Peace, not Death! » he said.
Resolution 2397 cuts exports of gasoline, diesel and other refined oil products by a total of 89%, Haley said.
The resolution also bans exports of industrial equipment, machinery, transportation vehicles and industrial metals to North Korea. It requires countries using North Korean laborers to send them back home no later than 24 months from the adoption of the resolution.
The resolution also requires countries to stop ships from illegally providing oil to North Korea through ship-to-ship transfers and prohibits them from smuggling North Korean coal and other prohibited commodities by sea.
Kelly Magsamen, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific security affairs, said the resolution represented another sign of international unity, but added a caution. While the restrictions on oil « will have an effect on the North Korean economy, » Magsamen said, « whether that produces the North Koreans at the negotiating table I think is an open question. »
The UN levied sanctions against North Korea in August and September. The US took unilateral steps against the country in July, August, September, October and November. And Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has orchestrated a « peaceful pressure » campaign aimed at slowly cutting off Pyongyang’s diplomatic ties and financial resources, to force it to come to the negotiating table.
Against that backdrop, Trump has issued a steady stream of belligerent rhetoric, including a threat to « totally destroy » North Korea, raising fears of a military confrontation.
« At the end of the day, we are either going to have a negotiated outcome, or some sort of scenario where either the US decides to use force, or we are in a containment and deterrent scenario, » said Magsamen, a CNN security analyst now with the Center for American Progress.(cnn)