UNSC unanimously backs new sanctions vs. N. Korea

UNITED NATIONS — The UN Security Council has imposed fresh sanctions on North Korea over the country’s recent missile tests. The sanctions were unanimously backed by the council’s 15 members, including Russia and China.

The document bans North Korean exports of minerals and other raw materials and goods, including coal, iron, lead and seafood. The countries that had struck deals with North Korea are to complete imports of previously bought raw materials and goods within 30 days starting from August 5, the day the resolution was passed.

The resolution bans new joint ventures with North Korea and additional investments in existing joint ventures. Under the resolution, countries are not allowed to employ any new North Korean workers. Besides, the document bars ships, designated by a UN Security Council special committee as responsible for breaking sanctions, to enter ports all over the world, except emergency cases.

The resolution envisions restrictions against 13 individuals and companies linked to Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs. Reuters quoted US estimations earlier a full observance of these restrictive measures could slash Pyongyang’s foreign currency revenues, currently standing at USD3 billion, by USD1 billion.

Russia has repeatedly warned against too tough sanctions against North Korea, emphasizing that they should not cause suffocation of the country and its people. The resolution adopted on Saturday says that the measures are not meant to have negative humanitarian repercussions for North Korea’s civilian population.

The situation on the Korean Peninsula remains extremely tense on the background of an active development of the North Korean missile program. In July, the country held two launches of Hwasong-14 ballistic missiles on the background of reports on a successful testing of an intercontinental ballistic missile.

U.S. authorities confirmed Pyongyang’s statements that the missile was an intercontinental ballistic one but the Russian Defense Ministry said the characteristics of the trial test showed it was a medium-range ballistic missile.

In Saturday’s resolution the issue was not mentioned. The document lambastes North Korean ballistic missile tests but specifies that North Korea characterized them as intercontinental. TASS-northboundasia.com