United Nations imposes new sanctions on North Korea

The United Nations Security Council has imposed new sanctions on North Korea aimed at cutting the Asian country’s annual export revenue by a quarter in responses to Pyongyang’s fifth and largest nuclear test in September.

Key points:

  • The 15-member council unanimously adopted a resolution to slash North Korea’s biggest export, coal, by about 60 per cent with an annual sales cap of $US400.9 million ($541.9 million) or 7.5 million metric tonnes, whichever is lower.
  • The US-drafted resolution also bans copper, nickel, silver and zinc exports, as well as the sale of statues by Pyongyang.
  • The United States was realistic about what the new sanctions on North Korea — also known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) — will achieve, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, told the council after the vote.
  • But this resolution imposes unprecedented costs on the DPRK regime for defying this Council’s demands.
  • North Korea has been under UN sanctions since 2006 over its nuclear and ballistic missile tests — it conducted its latest nuclear test on September 9.
  • China, believed to be the only country buying North Korean coal, would slash its imports by some $US700 million compared with 2015 sales under the new sanctions, diplomats said.
  • The UN resolution blacklisted 11 more individuals, including former ambassadors to Egypt and Myanmar, and 10 entities, subjecting them to a global travel ban and asset freeze for ties to North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

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