The United States on Thursday introduced a draft U.N. Security Council resolution that it said will significantly increase pressure on North Korea in response to its latest nuclear test and rocket launch.
US Ambassador Samantha Power said the draft, which for the first time would subject cargo ships leaving and entering North Korea to mandatory inspections, goes farther than previous sanctions and is meant to ensure North Korea will be held accountable for its actions.
The draft is the result of an agreement between the United States and China, North Korea’s main ally and Beijing’s involvement signals a policy shift with regard to its often erratic neighbor. The council is expected to vote on it over the weekend.
China’s Ambassador Liu Jieyi said China was working very closely with other members of the Security Council and that he hoped the resolution “would achieve the objective of denuclearization” and result in “peace and stability.”
Ambassador Power said the sanctions would also prohibit the sale of small arms and other conventional weapons to North Korea, closing a loophole in earlier resolutions. Sanctions would also limit and in some cases ban exports of coal, iron gold titanium and rare earth minerals from North Korea and would prohibit countries from supplying aviation fuel, including rocket fuel to the country. In addition, the resolution imposes financial sanctions targeting North Korean banks and assets and bans all dual use nuclear and missile related items. Items such as luxury watches, snowmobiles, recreational water vehicles and lead crystal were also added to a long list of luxury goods that North Korea is not allowed to import.
Jeong Joon-Hee, a spokesman of Seoul’s Unification Ministry, said the measures included in the draft would significantly hurt the North’s foreign currency income because it’s estimated that minerals account for nearly 40 percent the country’s exports. South Korea and Japan have also announced new measures against Pyongyang.