UN imposes harsh new sanctions on North Korea
23 December 2017
The UN Security Council yesterday voted 15-0 for a US-drafted resolution to inflict draconian new sanctions on North Korea following its testing of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) last month. Washington has been pushing for a complete economic blockade to starve the Pyongyang regime into submission.
The latest UN measures come on top of existing bans on the export of major North Korean exports such as coal, minerals and seafood, restrictions on the sale of oil to North Korea and the blacklisting of a number of North Korean officials and entities. The US has also imposed its own unilateral sanctions, aimed not just at North Korea but individuals and companies doing business with it.
The new sanctions include:
- Tougher restrictions on the import of energy products. A cap of 500,000 barrels will effectively cut the supply of North Korea’s imports of refined petroleum products by roughly 90 percent. Crude oil supplies to North Korea will be capped at 4 million barrels a year, with further reductions to come into force if Pyongyang tests another ICBM or conducts a nuclear test.
- The repatriation of all North Koreans working abroad. The draft resolution initially imposed a 12-month deadline, but that was extended to 24 months after Russia and China objected. The US estimates there are about 100,000 North Korean guest workers, including 50,000 based in China and 30,000 in Russia, a vital source of foreign exchange for North Korea.
- A ban on North Korean exports of food products, machinery, electrical equipment, earth and stone, including magnesite and magnesia, wood and vessels. Combined with existing bans, this will choke off virtually all export trade.
- A ban on the sale of industrial…