UN Security Council vote on resolution toughening sanctions on North Korea

Vastavam web: The UN Security Council will vote today on a US-drafted resolution toughening sanctions on North Korea, diplomats have said, a proposed ban on certain exports that could deprive Pyongyang of 1 billion in annual revenue.After a month of negotiations, the United States reached a deal with China, North Korea’s main trading partner and ally, on the measures aimed at ratcheting up pressure on Pyongyang to halt its missile and nuclear tests.The draft resolution calls for a ban on all exports of coal, iron and iron ore, lead and lead ore, as well as fish and seafood by the cash-starved state, according to the text seen by AFP.

If implemented by all countries, the ban would strip Pyongyang of roughly a third of its export earnings estimated at 3 billion per year, according to a diplomat familiar with the negotiations.Backed by its European allies, Japan and South Korea, the United States has been leading the push at the United Nations for tougher sanctions in response to North Korea’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile on July 4.A second test on July 28 further raised alarm about Pyongyang’s drive to develop a missile capable of hitting the US mainland.North Korea is blamed for a “massive diversion of its scarce resources” toward the development of “nuclear weapons and a number of expensive ballistic missile programs,” the draft resolution said.

The new raft of measures would be the seventh set of UN sanctions imposed on North Korea since it first carried out a nuclear test in 2006, but these have failed to compel Pyongyang to change its behavior.The proposed resolution would add North Korea’s Foreign Trade Bank, the primary foreign exchange bank, to a UN sanctions blacklist, which provides for an assets freeze.It would also tighten trade restrictions on technology to prevent North Korea from acquiring items that could be used for its military programs.Under the proposed measure, North Korean vessels caught violating UN resolutions would be banned from entering ports in all countries.