The UN Security Council has unanimously passed a US-drafted resolution that imposes strongest sanctions ever on North Korea, including restricting its oil imports and banning textile exports, to curb the reclusive nation’s nuclear programme.
The move comes in response to the sixth and largest nuclear test by North Korea on September 3.
International community was hitting North Korea’s ability to fund its weapons programme.
The US had originally proposed harsher sanctions, including a total ban on oil imports by North Korea.
But the vote was passed only after Pyongyang allies Russia and China agreed to the reduced measures.
Oil “is the lifeblood” of North Korea’s effort to build and deliver a nuclear weapon.
The resolution reduces almost 30 per cent of oil provided to the North by cutting off over 55 per cent of its gas, diesel, and heavy fuel oil.
Today’s resolution completely bans natural gas and other oil byproducts that could be used as substitutes for the reduced petroleum. This will cut deep.
When these new stronger sanctions are added to those passed last month, over 90 per cent of North Korea’s publicly reported exports are now fully banned.
Moreover, this resolution also puts an end to the regime making money from the 93,000 North Korean citizens it sends overseas to work and heavily tax.
This ban will eventually starve the regime of an additional USD 500 million or more in annual revenues.
Beyond the USD 1.3 billion in annual revenues we will cut from North Korea, new maritime authorities will help us stop them from obtaining funds by smuggling coal and other prohibited materials around the world by ship, said the body.
The resolution bans all North Korean textile exports. Textile exports - North Korea’s largest economic sector that the Security Council had not previously restricted - earned North Korea an average of USD 760 million in the past three years.
The resolution requires the end of all joint ventures with North Korea.