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

UN Security Council OKs weakened resolution on North Korea sanctions

UN Security Council OKs weakened resolution on North Korea sanctions

In all, these measures impose a 30% reduction in petroleum shipments - a figure arrived at after negotiation among Security Council members, according to an American source. It has voted unanimously on a new sanctions resolution.

Lawmakers who spoke Tuesday supported the US pressure tactics, while voicing skepticism that North Korea could be forced into abandon nuclear weapons it regards as a guarantee of survival for the Kim dynasty.

China and Russian Federation realize their combined efforts "works better than individual action", said Wang Xinsheng, a history professor at Peking University.

China and Russian Federation both share the view that Kim Jong-un won't give up North Korea's nuclear weapons programme without security guarantees.

A Chinese state media editorial on Tuesday said the the USA should stop isolating North Korea and return to the table for talks.

She reiterated that, according to the resolution, an extremely strict sanctions regime had been introduced.

KELEMEN: Well, it's not almost as strong as the one that the Trump administration proposed last week.

Mnuchin told a conference broadcast on CNBC that China agreed to "historic" sanctions on North Korea on Monday in a UN Security Council vote. So for instance, while the USA wanted a total oil embargo, this resolution calls for a cap on oil exports to North Korea, cutting it, Haley says, by about 30 percent. He said that the USA has recently caught North Korea trying to disguise the origin of ships it's using - and added that cracking down on North Korean ship traffic will be crucial to enforcing sanctions. This resolution calls on countries to inspect ships if there are reasonable grounds for a search and only with consent. The new restrictions include a ban on purchase of North Korean textiles and a ban on deliveries of gas condensate to the country.

A ban on new visas for North Korean overseas workers, which the U.S. estimates would eventually cut off $500m of tax revenue per year. But FireEye points out that hackers can swap them into other, more anonymous cryptocurrencies - or move them elsewhere and eventually withdraw them in traditional currencies like South Korean won or US dollars.

United States officials have also hinted that they are ready to do more.

During negotiations on sanctions, Mnuchin warned that the USA would come down hard on China if it did not meet US demands on sanctions. At the same time, they don't want Kim provoking the U.S. into any action that could destabilize the region. It was meant to be maximalist.

US stocks made a bright start to the week as investors expressed relief that Hurricane Irma, which made landfall in Florida over the weekend, had weakened and has since been downgraded to a tropical storm as it continues to move its way across land. "I'm not sure how much time they're going to give China to implement a resolution like this". I mean US officials say at least the resolution gives them some new tools to crack down on smuggling - again, not as stringent as originally proposed. United Nations members now are barred from importing any textiles from the North.

Connolly protested that Trump had branded South Korea's leader, a supporter of diplomacy with North Korea, as an appeaser.

Both Billingslea and Susan Thornton, the acting assistant secretary for the State Department's Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said that the administration is pushing China to act. "Unfortunately, I can not assure the Committee today that we have seen sufficient evidence of China's willingness to truly shut down North Korean revenue flows, expunge the North Korean illicit actors from its banking system, and expel the North Korean middlemen and brokers who are establishing webs of front companies".

MCEVERS: NPR's diplomatic correspondent Michele Kelemen, thank you.

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