UN Security Council imposes new sanctions on North Korea
The United Nations Security Council imposed new sanctions on North Korea on Wednesday that aim to cut the Asian country’s annual export revenue by more than a quarter in response to Pyongyang’s fifth and largest nuclear test in September.
The 15-member council unanimously adopted a resolution to slash North Korea’s biggest export, coal, by about 60 per cent with an annual sales cap of US$400.9 million or 7.5 million metric tonnes, whichever is lower.
The resolution also bans copper, nickel, silver and zinc exports and the sale of statues by Pyongyang.
North Korea has been under UN sanctions since 2006 over its nuclear and missile tests. It conducted its latest nuclear test on September 9, and the United States and China, a North Korea ally, spent more than two months negotiating new sanctions before recently sharing the proposal with the rest of the council.
“Sanctions are only as effective as their implementation,” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told the Security Council after the vote. “It is incumbent on all member states of the United Nations to make every effort to ensure that these sanctions are fully implemented.”
China, believed to be the only country that buys North Korean coal, would slash its imports by some US$700 million compared with 2015 sales under the new sanctions, diplomats said.
Over the first 10 months of 2016, China imported 18.6 million tonnes of coal from North Korea, up almost 13 per cent from a year earlier. North Korean exports to the end of 2016 will now be capped at US$53.5 million, or 1 million metric tonnes.
Banning North Korean exports of copper, nickel, silver and zinc would slash about US$100 million in revenue, while prohibiting the sale of statues, mainly to African countries, cuts tens of millions of dollars, diplomats said.
The Security Council blacklisted 11 more individuals, including people who have been ambassadors to Egypt and Myanmar, and 10 entities, subjecting them to a global travel ban and asset freeze for their role in the North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.