North Korea

UN Imposes "Strongest Measures Ever" On North Korea

North Korea

The United Nations Security Council has unanimously adopted a US-backed resolution that imposes new sanctions on North Korea as punishment for its recent nuclear test.

Before the vote, the US removed some of the tougher proposals it had announced last week, including a complete oil embargo and measures to freeze the assets of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un.

The resolution does ban North Korea from importing all natural gas liquids and condensates, and caps Pyongyang's imports of crude oil at the level of the last 12 months.

The sanctions also limit the import of refined petroleum products to two million barrels a year, bans textile exports, and prevents all countries from authorising work permits for North Korean workers- two of the nation’s sources of income.

The sanctions do not include those pushed for by the US on the army.

Nonetheless, US ambassador Nikki Haley told the council after the vote that:

"These are by far the strongest measures ever imposed on North Korea."

But she stressed that "these steps only work if all nations implement them completely and aggressively".

Haley noted the poignancy of the meeting’s date, which took place on the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack.

In a clear message to North Korean threats to attack the US, she said:

"We will never forget the lesson that those who have evil intentions must be confronted.

"Today we are saying the world will never accept a nuclear armed North Korea," she added.

The final agreement was reached after negotiations between the US and China, the North's ally and major trading partner.

Haley said the resolution never would have happened without the "strong relationship" between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Britain's UN ambassador Matthew Rycroft told reporters who questioned the watering down of the initial US text that "there is a significant prize in keeping the whole of the Security Council united".

Rycroft called the resolution "a very significant set of additional sanctions", declaring that "we are tightening the screw, and we stand prepared to tighten it further".