United Nations imposes tougher sanctions on North Korea

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The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) unanimously approved tough new sanctions Saturday to punish North Korea for its escalating nuclear and missile programs including a ban on coal and other exports worth over $1 billion - a huge bite in its total exports, valued at $3 billion a year ago. It would also prohibit countries from increasing the current numbers of North Korea's labourers working overseas, ban new joint ventures with Pyongyang and any new investment in current joint ventures. Following its second test on July 28, the US reached a deal on the sanctions with China, the North's top trading partner and ally.

The unanimous adoption of Resolution 2371 by the council on Saturday demonstrates that the worldwide community is united in its position regarding the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula, Liu told the Security Council after the voting of the sanctions.

The resolution represents "the strongest sanctions ever imposed in response to a ballistic missile test", the statement said.

The sanctions ban North Korea from exporting coal, iron, lead and seafood products that are estimated to be worth more than $1 billion. This represents one-third of its total exports previous year, estimated at $3 billion. It prohibits new joint ventures or cooperative commercial entities with DPRK and additional investment in existing ones.

A resolution needs nine votes in favour, and no vetoes by the US, China, Russia, France or Britain, to be adopted.

But restrictions on supplies of oil to North Korea were excluded, apparently due to China and Russia's concerns they could deepen the humanitarian crisis in the cash-strapped nation.

It also gives the committee a green light to designate specific vessels that are breaking sanctions from entering ports all over the world and to work with Interpol to enforce travel bans on North Koreans on the sanctions blacklist. It notes United Nations findings that well over half the population lacks sufficient food and medical care, while a quarter suffers from chronic malnutrition. "Revenues aren't going toward feeding its people".

While the draft resolution would impose biting economic sanctions, the USA didn't get everything it wanted.

Tillerson also said the US wants to talk eventually with North Korea, but doesn't think discussions would be productive if the North comes with the intention of maintaining its nuclear weapons.

Neither oil nor new air restrictions are included in the resolution. But he also called on the United States and South Korea to 'stop raising tensions on the Korean Peninsula, ' in apparent reference to the systematic military means deployment in the region and attempts to block Pyongyang economically and diplomatically.

Trump's willingness to go to war with North Korea was mentioned by Sen.

"China has always insisted on realizing the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, maintaining peace and stability on the Peninsula and seeking a solution through dialogue and consultation", Liu said.