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UN Security Council imposes new sanctions on North Korea

  • Matthew Rycroft, left, Britain’s Ambassador to the U.N. and U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley vote in favor of a resolution, Friday at United Nations headquarters. ap

  • U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley talks with Chinese deputy ambassador Wu Haitao, Friday, Dec. 22, 2017, at United Nations headquarters. The council is to vote on proposed new sanctions against North Korea, including sharply lower limits on its refined oil imports, the return home of all North Koreans working overseas within 12 months, and a crackdown on the country's shipping. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) Mark Lennihan

  • U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley votes in favor of a resolution, Friday, Dec. 22, 2017, at United Nations headquarters. The Security Council is voting on proposed new sanctions against North Korea, including sharply lower limits on its refined oil imports, the return home of all North Koreans working overseas within 12 months, and a crackdown on the country's shipping. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) Mark Lennihan

  • Chinese deputy ambassador to the U.N. Wu Haitao speaks at the Security Council, Friday, Dec. 22, 2017, at United Nations headquarters. The council voted on proposed new sanctions against North Korea, including sharply lower limits on its refined oil imports, the return home of all North Koreans working overseas within 12 months, and a crackdown on the country's shipping. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) Mark Lennihan

  • FILE - In this Nov. 27, 2017, file photo, North Korean soldiers look at the South side as a South Korean stands guard near the spot where a North Korean soldier crossed the border on Nov. 13 at the Panmunjom, in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea. South Korea says on Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017, it has fired 20 rounds of warning shots as North Korean soldiers approached a military demarcation line at the border after their comrade defected to South Korea. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man, File) Lee Jin-man

  • In this Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017, file photo, visitors tour the Imjingak Pavilion, with barbed wire seen at left, in Paju, South Korea. South Korean soldiers fired 20 warning machine gun rounds Thursday, turning back North Korean soldiers apparently pursuing a comrade who had earlier dashed across the rivals' shared border, officials said. It is the fourth time this year a North Korean soldier has defected across the world's most heavily armed border. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man, File) Lee Jin-man

  • Visitors walk by the wire fence decorated with ribbons carrying messages to wish for the reunification of the two Koreas at the Imjingak Pavilion in Paju, South Korea, Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017. South Korean soldiers fired 20 warning machine gun rounds Thursday, turning back North Korean soldiers apparently pursuing a comrade who had earlier dashed across the rivals' shared border, officials said. It is the fourth time this year a North Korean soldier has defected across the world's most heavily armed border. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man) Lee Jin-man

  • A protester holds up a banner to oppose the United States' policies against North Korea near U.S. Embassy in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Dec. 22, 2017. The U.N. Security Council is meeting Friday to vote on whether to impose new sanctions on North Korea, including sharply cutting limits on its imports of refined oil, forcing all North Koreans working overseas to return home within 12 months, and cracking down on the country's shipping. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon) Ahn Young-joon

  • Francoise Delattre, French ambassador to the U.N., speaks at the Security Council, Friday, Dec. 22, 2017, at United Nations headquarters. The council is to vote on proposed new sanctions against North Korea, including sharply lower limits on its refined oil imports, the return home of all North Koreans working overseas within 12 months, and a crackdown on the country's shipping. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) Mark Lennihan



Associated Press
Friday, December 22, 2017

The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved tough new sanctions against North Korea on Friday in response to its latest launch of a ballistic missile that Pyongyang says is capable of reaching anywhere on the U.S. mainland.

The resolution adopted by the council includes sharply lower limits on North Korea’s refined oil imports, the return home of all North Koreans working overseas within 24 months, and a crackdown on ships smuggling banned items including coal and oil to and from the country.

But the resolution doesn’t include even harsher measures sought by the Trump administration that would ban all oil imports and freeze international assets of the government and its leader, Kim Jong Un.

The resolution, drafted by the United States and negotiated with the North’s closest ally China, drew criticism from Russia for the short time the 13 other council nations had to consider the draft, and last-minute changes to the text. Two of those changes were extending the deadline for North Korean workers to return home from 12 months to 24 months – which Russia said was the minimum needed – and reducing the number of North Koreans being put on the U.N. sanctions blacklist from 19 to 15.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said after the vote that “the unity this council has shown in leveling these unprecedented sanctions is a reflection of the international outrage at the Kim regime’s actions.”

President Donald Trump tweeted the 15-0 vote, adding: “The World wants Peace, not Death!”

China’s deputy U.N. ambassador, Wu Haitao, said it’s “imperative” to pursue a peaceful settlement and resume dialogue and negotiations at an early date, warning that resorting to force “will only lead to disastrous consequences.”

Deputy Russian Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov also demanded that key parties display “openness to genuine, meaningful political dialogue.” Stressing the importance of “creative approaches,” he said that “isolation and pressure must give way to dialogue and talks.”

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also called for a political solution, “which requires de-escalation and open communication channels now,” his spokesman said.

Haley recalled that the previous sanctions resolution approved in September, when combined with earlier measures, would ban over 90 percent of North Korea’s exports reported in 2016.

That resolution, adopted in response to North Korea’s sixth and strongest nuclear test explosion on Sept. 3, banned North Korea from importing all natural gas liquids and condensates. It also banned all textile exports and prohibited any country from authorizing new work permits for North Korean workers – two key sources of hard currency for the northeast Asian nation.

Haley told the council Friday that the new resolution “bans all remaining categories of major North Korean exports – a loss of nearly $250 million in revenue to the regime.”

North Korea’s test on Nov. 29 of its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile yet was its 20th launch of a ballistic missile this year, and added to fears that it will soon have a military arsenal that can viably target the U.S. mainland.

British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said the Security Council was sending “a very strong united signal to the North Korean regime that enough is enough.”

The new resolution reiterates the Security Council’s regret at North Korea’s “massive diversion of its scarce resources toward its development of nuclear weapons and a number of expensive ballistic missile programs.” It notes that 41 percent of the population is undernourished.