United Nations bans key North Korea exports

FILE PHOTO: The United Nations Security Council meets to discuss the recent ballistic missile launch by North Korea at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., July 5, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Segar

The United Nations Security Council unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea on Saturday that could slash by a third the Asian state’s $3 billion annual export revenue over its two intercontinental ballistic missile tests in July.

The U.S.-drafted resolution bans North Korean exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood. It also prohibits countries from increasing the current numbers of North Korean laborers working abroad, bans new joint ventures with North Korea and any new investment in current joint ventures.

“We should not fool ourselves into thinking we have solved the problem. Not even close. The North Korean threat has not left us, it is rapidly growing more dangerous,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the council.

“Further action is required. The United States is taking and will continue to take prudent defensive measures to protect ourselves and our allies,” she said. Washington would continue annual joint military exercises with South Korea, Haley said.

North Korea has accused the United States and South Korea of escalating tensions by conducting military drills.

China and Russia slammed U.S. deployment of the THAAD anti-missile defense system in South Korea. China’s U.N. Ambassador Liu Jieyi called for a halt to the deployment and for any equipment in place to be dismantled.

Liu also urged North Korea to “cease taking actions that might further escalate tensions.”

U.S. President Donald Trump hailed the vote in a Twitter message on Saturday evening.

“The United Nations Security Council just voted 15-0 to sanction North Korea. China and Russia voted with us. Very big financial impact!” Trump wrote.

Trump “appreciates China’s and Russia’s cooperation in securing passage” of the resolution, the White House said in a later statement. The U.S. president “will continue to work with allies and partners to increase diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea to ends its threatening and destabilizing behavior,” it said.

 

Reuters/Zainab Sa’id