In a unanimous vote on Saturday, the United Nations security council put a third of North Korea’s annual $3 billion exports under sanctions for continuing to violate the world body’s resolutions prohibiting it from conducting nuclear and missile tests, according to report.
Initiated by the United States, the new sanctions are the most severe yet and will affect its major exports — coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood.
The sanctions also apply to North Korea’s Foreign Trade Bank and prohibits it from increasing the number of workers it sends abroad, whose earnings contribute the country’s foreign exchange revenues.
The sanctions marked a major diplomatic victory for US President Donald Trump, who tweeted, “United Nations Resolution is the single largest economic sanctions package ever on North Korea. Over one billion dollars in cost to NK.”
The new sanctions came in the aftermath of North Korea in July conducting two tests of intercontinental ballistic missile, which experts say could potentially reach the US mainland.
The unanimous vote also reflected Beijing’s growing impatience with Pyongyang. China has long been North Korea’s largest trading partner and, possibly its only ally providing it cover in times of global outrage caused by its nuclear and missile tests.
Trump had earlier sought to outsource the North Korea issue — he had been greeted by a string of tests by Kim Jong-un since his inauguration in January — to China urging it to use its considerable clout to rein in its tests. That didn’t go too well according to him when he accused Beijing of failing to match its words with action. It’s been “just talk”, he fumed in a tweet.
India, which is North Korea’s second largest trading partner, notified compliance in April with an earlier UN sanction banning export of all goods — except food and medicines — that could be used in nuclear or missile programmes.