UN approves new sanctions on North Korea

Security Council unanimously backs resolution significantly strengthening sanctions on North Korea.

Ben Ariel ,

United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council

The UN Security Council on Saturday unanimously backed a U.S.-drafted resolution that significantly strengthened sanctions on North Korea, AFP reported.

The resolution imposes a ban on exports aimed at depriving Pyongyang of $1 billion in annual revenue.

The measures were the first of that scope to be imposed on North Korea since U.S. President Donald Trump took office and highlighted China's willingness to punish its Pyongyang ally.

The resolution imposes a full ban on exports of coal, iron and iron ore, lead and lead ore as well as fish and seafood by North Korea.

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said the measures brought the penalty imposed on North Korea for its ballistic missile tests "to a whole new level" and that the council had put the country’s leader Kim Jong-Un "on notice."

"This is the most stringent set of sanctions on any country in a generation," Haley told the council after the vote.

"These sanctions will cut deep and in doing so, will give the North Korean leadership a taste of the deprivation they have chosen to inflict on the North Korean people," she added.

The resolution also prevents North Korea from increasing the number of workers it sends abroad whose earnings are another source of revenue for Kim's regime.

The United States had been negotiating the proposed new measures with China, North Korea's main trading partner and ally, since Pyongyang launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile on July 4.

A second launch on July 28 further raised alarm about Pyongyang's drive to develop a missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland.

In addition to sanctions, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, also recently warned that the U.S. is prepared to defend itself from the North Korean threat, saying, "One of our capabilities lies with our considerable military forces. We will use them if we must, but we prefer not to have to go in that direction.”

President Donald Trump hailed the unanimous vote in the Security Council, saying the sanctions will have "very big financial impact!"

It was "the single largest economic sanctions package ever on North Korea. Over one billion dollars in cost to N.K.," he wrote on Twitter following the vote.