UN Imposes New Sanctions on North KoreaDecember 19, 2016 in North Korea
The United Nations Security Council has imposed new sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear programme, with the latest sanctions targeting the secretive nation’s valuable coal exports to China.
Under the new sanctions, which follow North Korea’s fifth and largest nuclear test in September, coal exports will be decreased by about 60% under a strict new sales cap. Coal is North Korea’s to export earner and diplomats have disclosed that the export cap of 7.5 million metric tonnes would cost it US $700 million in lost earnings compared with 2015 sales. Exports of copper, nickel, silver, zinc and the sale of statues will also be banned. The resolution also blacklists eleven more people and ten entities, who are said to be connected to North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programme, imposing a travel ban and asset freeze.
China, believed to be the only state that purchases North Korean coal, agreed to the sanctions after months of negotiations with the United States and the Council unanimously approved the sanctions resolution. While China is the reclusive country’s primary ally, and has traditionally protected it diplomatically over fears of what may occur if the government were to collapse, it has however grown increasingly impatient with its actions.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has disclosed that the latest sanctions sent an “unequivocal message that the DPRK must cease all the provocative actions and comply fully with its international obligations,” adding, “sanctions are only as effective as their implementation.” Meanwhile US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power has admitted that “no resolution in New York will likely tomorrow persuade Pyongyang to cease its relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons,” adding however that “unprecedented costs” were being placed on North Korea for defying the international community.
North Korea has been under UN sanctions since 2006 over its nuclear and missile programme.