(VOVworld) – The UN Security Council has approved its toughest sanctions yet against North Korea for conducting banned nuclear tests. Analysts hope the sanctions are harsh enough to pressure Pyongyang into returning to the 6-party talks.
UN Security Council resolution 2321was passed unanimously last Wednesday, nearly 3 months after North Korea conducted its 5th nuclear test. This is the Council’s 6th resolution targeting North Korea.
Blocking foreign currency earners
The latest resolution aims to weaken the North Korean economy by cutting its annual coal exports by 60% equivalent to 7.5 million tons. Coal is one of North Korea’s biggest hard currency earners.
The resolution also bans non-ferrous metals, including copper, nickel, silver, and zinc, and tightens marine and financial activities. The new punitive measures could cost North Korea 800 million USD a year.
Other measures target North Korean officials and organizations suspected of involvement in the nuclear program. They are banned from traveling to other countries and their assets are frozen. Sponsoring trade transactions with North Korea is prohibited and North Korean goods will face stricter scrutiny.
The UN is calling on all countries to reduce the number of North Korean diplomats they will allow and to place a cap on the number of the diplomats’ bank accounts. The resolution also threatens to revoke North Korea’s UN membership if violations continue.
US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said this resolution imposes unprecedented costs on the North Korean regime for defying the Council’s demands. Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe said in a statement that resolution 2321 clearly demonstrates the international community’s will to respond in a more drastic manner than before.
UN resolution aims at denuclearizing the Korean peninsula
The UN began imposing sanctions against North Korea in 2006. Despite unilateral and multilateral measures, Pyongyang has gone ahead with its nuclear development program. Recently, nuclear and missile tests have been conducted more frequently. Since January, North Korea has carried out 2 nuclear and at least 25 ballistic missile tests, including satellite, submarine, and mid-range missile launches. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the Security Council has “taken strong action on one of the most enduring and pressing peace and security challenges of our time.”
But the Council leaves the door open for North Korea to return to the negotiating table and honor its demilitarization commitment through verifiable actions.
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