US calls for UNSC meet over N.Korea draft resolution

Marie Harrington
September 14, 2017

The UN Security Council was scheduled to vote Monday on a draft resolution imposing new sanctions on North Korea after the United States toned down its demands in a bid to win support from Russian Federation and China.

The resolution instead bans textile exports, cuts off natural gas shipments to North Korea, places a ceiling on deliveries of refined oil products and caps crude oil shipments at their current level.

A USA official, familiar with the council negotiations and speaking on condition of anonymity, said North Korea imports some 4.5 million barrels of refined petroleum products annually and four million barrels of crude oil.

Still, Monday's 15-0 U.N. Security Council vote - for increased restrictions on oil and money not quite as tough as originally proposed by the us - was an important display of worldwide angst regarding North Korea's recently aggressive missile tests.

For the latest resolution, however, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, at an emergency council meeting on August 4, expressed her plan to distribute a draft in a short time frame and then put it to a vote on Monday.

The resolution represents a swift response to North Korea's sixth and strongest nuclear test explosion September 3, which it said was a hydrogen bomb, and to its escalating launches of increasingly sophisticated ballistic missiles that it says can reach the United States.

"Today we are saying the world will never accept a nuclear armed North Korea", she said.

"The textile sanctions actually might have more impact, as they are probably a good source of value-added income - value added by people you don't have to pay much - for the regime", he said. "Unless we firmly apply pressure, North Korea will not change its direction".

"The forthcoming measures by DPRK (North Korea) will make the U.S. suffer the greatest pain it has ever experienced in its history", he told a disarmament conference in the Swiss city.

Mnuchin told a conference broadcast on CNBC that China agreed to "historic" sanctions on North Korea on Monday in a UN Security Council vote.

Germany and the five countries on the Security Council with veto power took part in talks that led to Iran agreeing a landmark deal in 2015 to curb its nuclear work in return for the lifting of most economic sanctions. There are conflicting predictions about the possibility of placing a cap on China and Russia's total exports of crude oil to North Korea.

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Although China also is upset at Pyongyang's adventurism, Beijing is apparently anxious that causing more instability in North Korea by cutting off such a vital commodity will harm Chinese interests, such as refugees fleeing into the country or American troops moving closer to its borders.

The Trump administration is touting new sanctions leveled against North Korea by the UN Security Council yesterday (Sept. 11), after it pushed for a vote on the matter.

And it is such pressure, not sanctions, that will be important in checking the regime of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

With past North Korean issues, the United States normally conducted back-channel negotiations with China and began distributing a draft resolution to Security Council member states following an agreement between the United States and China, which are both permanent members of the council.

The spokesperson delivered these comments shortly before the United Nations was to voted on the United States' proposed resolution of more sanctions on the North Korean government.

But that missile defence system was deployed as a response to North Korea's weapons programme. But the USA official said North Korea now receives about 4.5 million barrels of refined petroleum products, which would mean a more than 50 percent cut.

Crude oil will continue to be supplied to the relatively isolated state, but will not exceed two million barrels per year, Japan's Kyodo News Agency reported.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un hosted a massive celebration to congratulate his nuclear scientists and technicians who steered the country's sixth and largest nuclear test a week ago, its official news agency said on Sunday.

China has made clear that it's against actions that could destabilize the Korean Peninsula.

The revised resolution expresses the council's "determination to take further significant measures" in the event of a new nuclear test or ballistic missile launch.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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