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UN unanimously passes fresh sanctions against N. Korea

Posted September. 13, 2017 08:11,   

Updated September. 13, 2017 08:59

The UN Security Council unanimously passed Resolution No. 2375 for sanctions against North Korea that was agreed among the U.S., China and Russia on Monday (local time) at the UN Headquarters in New York. As the UN promptly passed the resolution in nine days after the North's sixth missile test, it remains to be seen how firmly UN member states support and implement the sanction.

The new resolution restricts UN member countries that export oil to North Korea for the first time. Under the resolution, the North's oil import, which was presumed to be exported solely by China, has been capped at 4 million barrels a year (600,000 tons), and its import of refined oil including gasoline and heavy oil, which it imported 4.5 million barrels (675,000 tons) from China and Russia, will be capped at 2 million barrels (300,000 tons). This means a 30 percent cut from the North's current oil import. The new sanction will shave as much as 1.3 billion dollars from North Korea’s revenue, as it will ban the country's textile exports, overseas laborer contracts and joint ventures with China, according to the Washington Post.

"The North Korean regime has not yet passed the point of no return," U.S. ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said. "If it agrees to stop its nuclear program it can reclaim its future. If it proves it can live in peace, the world will live in peace with it. If North Korea continues its dangerous path, we will continue with further pressure."

She added that the resolution never would have happened without the "strong relationship" between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“The UN’s unanimous passing the resolution proves that the international community has built a consensus on tougher sanctions against the North," South Korean presidential spokesperson Park Soo-hyun also said. "North Korea shouldn't challenge the determination of the international community anymore.”

Against this backdrop, China also issued a statement on the UN resolution. “China hopes that the contents of the Resolution 2375 can be implemented in a comprehensive and complete manner," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said. "The six party talks should be resumed for dialogue and negotiation.” Following the statement, however, the spokesman expressed China's opposition against the U.S.' military action, say that China sternly oppose the deployment of THAAD in South Korea.

Jeong-Hun Park sunshade@donga.com · Wan-Jun Yun zeitung@donga.com