The United Nations Security Council on Saturday unanimously placed new sanctions on North Korea for its November 19 intercontinental ballistic missile test, limiting its access to refined petroleum products.
The US-drafted resolution imposes tough measures on energy, export and import sectors, overseas North Korean labourers, and asks maritime authorities to help shut down North Korea’s illicit smuggling activities.
Signed by all 15 members of the Security Council, the resolution bans the import of nearly 90 per cent refined petroleum products to the country.
“On November 29, Pyongyang launched an intercontinental ballistic missile. This was another attempt by the Kim regime to masquerade as a great power, while their people starve and their soldiers defect. But for the international community, this is an unprecedented challenge from a defiant state. So we have levelled an unprecedented response,” US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said.
British Ambassador to the UN Matthew Rycroft said most of the petroleum products are used by the North Korea regime to resource their illegal nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
“By cutting off this supply we will restrict their ability to develop and deploy these weapons,” he said.
The Security Council also banned North Korean exports of food products, machinery and industrial and electrical equipment.
We have taken another important step to end the exploitation of North Korean workers who are sent overseas with the sole aim of generating earnings for the regime, Rycroft said.
“We have taken these steps to restrict the income the DPRK uses to fund its prohibited nuclear and ballistic missile programs. I congratulate the United States on this diplomatic achievement and we join them in leaving no stone unturned in pursuit of a diplomatic solution,” he said.
The resolution calls on all states to implement the present resolution and previous resolutions, fully.
“It is only by all of us doing this that they will have the intended impact,” The British Ambassador to UN said.
The adaptation of the Security Council resolution will tighten the grip and will make it even harder for the North Korean regime to fund illegal ballistic missile and nuclear programmes, he added.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres welcomed the Security Council resolution in response to the latest ballistic missile launch by North Korea.
The unity of the Security Council is essential to achieve the goal of denuclearisation and create the space for diplomatic initiatives aimed at achieving it in a peaceful manner, said a statement attributable to the spokesperson of the Secretary General.
(With inputs from agencies)