The United States’ strongest allies in Asia have welcomed a unanimous vote by the UN Security Council on tougher sanctions against North Korea, including a ban on its textile exports and an end to fuel supplies, after a sixth nuclear test.
Japan and South Korea after the resolution, which was drafted by the United States were willing to increase pressure on Pyongyang if it refuses to stop developing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. The United States, Britain, France and Italy also said the resolution adopted on Monday was “very solid” and “balanced” and would allow the United Nations to show “unity and determination”.
The resolution is the ninth UN Security Council resolution on North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs since 2006. The draft has been eased to an initial US decision to win the support of Russia and China, an ally of Pyongyang and their main trading partner, as the two countries have veto power (VETO) in the Security Council.
“We do not find happiness in tightening the sanctions anymore, ” US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Healy told the council after the vote. “We are not looking for war. The North Korean regime has not yet passed the point of no return.”
If it agrees to halt its nuclear program, Pyongyang can recover its future, but if it continues on track, Washington will continue to press more, it added. Healy said the decision would not have been made without the strong relationship between US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.
According to the resolution, UN members must stop textile imports from North Korea. Textiles were the second-largest exports of coal and other minerals in 2016, worth 752 million USD, accounting for a quarter of their trade income, according to data from South Korea. About 80 percent of textile exports went to China.
The decision puts an end to the system’s collection of funds from 90,000+ North Koreans working abroad and imposing high taxes, which would deprive Pyongyang of an additional $ 500 million in annual revenue, Healy said.
The resolution also imposes a ban on condensates and natural gas liquids, sets a cap of 2 million barrels per year on refined petroleum products and restricts crude oil exports to North Korea at current levels. China supplies most of the crude oil. North Korea imports about 4.5 million barrels of refined petroleum products a year and 4 million barrels of crude oil, a US official said. Pyongyang warned the United States it would pay “the right price” for new sanctions over its nuclear program, which it called part of “legitimate self-defence measures.