Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

UN Security Council OKs weakened resolution for new sanctions on North Korea

UN Security Council OKs weakened resolution for new sanctions on North Korea

However, she says there is still time for North Korea to change course.

"The US is trying to use the DPRK's legitimate self-defensive measures as an excuse to strangle and completely suffocate it", the statement said, using the acronym for North Korea's formal name. "This is an illegal resolution", he said. He called on North Korea to "take seriously" the will of the worldwide community to halt its nuclear and ballistic missile development.

He told Sky News: "These sanctions to toughen up the action we're taking on the regime".

Haley has called the proposal insulting.

North Korea has made major advances in its nuclear weapons program despite previous United Nations sanctions and other measures aimed at punishing it for violating resolutions that ban its use of such technology.

The blast, which came weeks after the country fired off two intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that appeared to bring much of the mainland United States into range, prompted global condemnation and calls to ramp up sanctions against the isolated nation.

As for energy, it caps Pyongyang's imports of crude oil at the level of the last 12 months, and it limits the import of refined petroleum products to 2 million barrels a year.

In July, after Pyongyang warned it might fire missiles toward Guam, President Donald Trump threatened to rain "fire and fury" on North Korea.

Although the resolution won backing from all 15 council members, the weakened penalties reflected the power of Russian Federation and China, which had objected to the original language and could have used their votes to veto the measure.

Ambassador Han Tae Song also lashed out at the United States during a plenary session of the U.N.'s Conference on Disarmament, saying North Korea denounces Washington's "evil intention" and would "make sure the USA pays a due price".

"It's a deliberate strategy by the U.S. to prevent China taking a couple of months to engage and then water stuff down", said a Security Council diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Textiles are North Korea's main source of export revenue after coal and other minerals which have already been severely restricted by previous United Nations resolutions.

But its provisions are a significant climb-down from the toughest-ever sanctions the Trump administration proposed in the initial draft resolution it circulated last Tuesday, especially on oil, where a complete ban could have crippled the country's economy. Late Sunday, after a series of closed-door meetings, a revised draft emerged, setting a cap on oil exports to North Korea, but not blocking them altogether.

China's United Nations ambassador, Liu Jieyi, called for a resumption of negotiations "sooner rather than later". But the report said the impact would likely be blunted on the military, which probably has enough fuel stockpiled to continue normal operations for the immediate future.

"The United States is looking for some sort of sanctions that will bring North Korea to its knees", he said. Chinese officials have privately expressed fears that an oil embargo could risk causing massive instability in its neighbour.

What happened next? On 3 September, North Korea said it tested a hydrogen bomb that could be miniaturised and loaded on a long-range missile.

The tensions have weighed on global markets, but there was some relief on Monday among investors that North Korea refrained from conducting another missile test this past weekend to celebrate 69 years since its founding.

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