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UN Security Council approves sanctions against North Korea
According to U.S. officials, the new sanctions would cut North Korea's exports by 90 percent and the export ban would cost the country about $726 million annually.
By Harry Marcolis
Jan 15, 2018

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WASHINGTON D.C. — The United Nations Security Council unanimously approved new sanctions against North Korea Monday, but only after the United States had to abandon some demands in order to gain support from Russia and China, according to a report by Bloomberg.

The action by the 15-member Security Council seeks to punish the Kim Jong Un regime for its recent missile tests.

The UN resolution aims to ban textile imports, slash imports of refined petroleum products to 2 million barrels a year, and provide for cargo inspections on the high seas by giving countries the power to freeze assets if ship operators refuse to cooperate.

According to U.S. officials, the new sanctions would cut North Korea's exports by 90 percent and the export ban would cost the country about $726 million annually.

"We are acting in response to a dangerous new development," said U.S. envoy Nikki Haley after the vote. "These are the strongest measures ever imposed on North Korea."

Both China and Russia urged all parties to reach a diplomatic settlement.

Before the vote, North Korea's state-run media attacked the push for sanctions, saying the U.S. would see "the greatest pain and suffering it had ever gone through in its entire history."

The Security Council wants to see the resumption of six-party talks between the U.S., North Korea, South Korea, China, Russia, and Japan that would negotiate the total elimination of nuclear weapons from the Korean peninsula.

Some experts think public disclosures by the Trump administration, including the president's habit of broadcasting U.S. foreign policy on Twitter, have not helped diplomatic efforts.

"The U.S. has played a really risky game by demanding exceptionally severe general and personal sanctions and letting the details go public," said Richard Gowan, a UN expert with the European Council on Foreign Relations, in the Bloomberg report. "It could well have been smarter diplomatically to work out what China would buy behind the scenes."