UN to vote on tougher North Korea sanctions

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 5, 2017

North Korea has said that unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States earlier this week in response to its latest intercontinental missile test will only strengthen Pyongyang's resolve to fortify itself with nukes.

The United States could shortly broaden talks on a push for stronger U.N. sanctions on North Korea to include all 15 Security Council members, signaling a likely deal with China on new measures, diplomats said on Thursday.

The diplomat, who briefed reporters on the content of the draft, said he had "high confidence" that China and Russian Federation would support the proposed sanctions.

A second test on July 28 further raised alarm about Pyongyang's drive to develop a missile capable of hitting the USA mainland.

The diplomat said the proposed resolution would also prohibit all new joint ventures with North Korean companies - and ban new foreign investment in existing joint ventures.

The proposed new sanctions follow North Korea's first successful tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States last month and are aimed at stepping up pressure on Kim to return to negotiations on his country's nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Diplomats say China and Russian Federation only view a test of a long-range missile or a nuclear weapon as a trigger for further possible United Nations sanctions.

The resolution also signals a shift by the USA, which declined to call a meeting of the Security Council after North Korea tested a second intercontinental ballistic missile in July.

Two resolutions adopted a year ago however have introduced economic sanctions with more bite.

If passed, the resolution would be the seventh round of sanctions imposed on the regime. It also put limits on North Korea's trade of goods and labor forces. There are also measures to freeze foreign currency assets and restrict Pyongyang's imports of commercial products, which could be used for military purposes. Sanctions against North Korea require China's agreement because it is the isolated country's biggest trading partner by far.

North Korean vessels that are caught violating United Nations resolutions would be banned from entering ports in all countries, under the proposed measure.

China and Russian Federation have meanwhile insisted that sanctions alone will not change Pyongyang's behavior and that talks are needed to address the crisis.

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