UN Mulls New N Korea Sanctions, Vote Could Happen Friday

Lester Mason
December 21, 2017

The United Nations headquarters in New York City.

A US-drafted UN Security Council resolution is aimed at prohibiting almost 90 percent of refined petroleum product exports to North Korea and the repatriation of North Koreans working overseas, Reuters reported on December, 21. The U.S. initiated the talks, but it remains unclear for now if China will agree to slap more sanctions on its neighbor.

Still, it is not clear how China would vote, traditionally a draft resolution on North Korea is not given to the full council until it has been agreed by Beijing and Washington.

China on Thursday raised objections to a United States request to the Security Council to blacklist ten ships for carrying banned cargo from North Korea, saying it needed more time to examine the measure, diplomats said.

"It's a big ask to get the Chinese to agree to a further resolution", one of the United Nations diplomats said, with others saying it was unlikely that the draft resolution would be ready this week, although some were optimistic that this could happen as soon as tomorrow.

The United States has been in negotiations with China, Pyongyang's ally, on slapping new sanctions in response to the November 28 test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

In September, the council put a cap of 2 million barrels a year on refined petroleum products exports to North Korea.

Washington has warned North Korea it would be "totally destroyed" in the event of war and on Monday US President Donald Trump unveiled a new national security strategy stressing the need to deal with the challenge posed by Pyongyang.

The vessels including two Hong Kong-flagged ships and two North Korean tankers will be barred from entry into ports worldwide if the council approves the request.

The measure would expand a list of banned exports to include food products, machinery, electrical equipment, earth and stone including magnesite and magnesia, wood and vessels from North Korea.

In August, the council capped the number of North Koreans working overseas at the current level. Then in September it decided that the employment of North Korean workers overseas had to be authorized by a Security Council committee.

The new draft resolution would demand the repatriation of North Koreans working overseas within 12 months. It has also capped oil deliveries to the country.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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