UN Security Council to Vote on New North Korea Sanctions
VOA - Tuesday 12th September, 2017
The United Nations Security Council is set to vote on a new round of economic sanctions against North Korea, in response to its continuing nuclear program and missile tests.
The draft resolution is considerably watered down from what the Americans put forward a week ago, and follows intense negotiations with Russia and China, which both have veto powers in the council.
The new draft, due to be voted on late Monday, removes an oil embargo against North Korea that the United States was seeking and replaces it with a cap at current levels of crude oil exports to North Korea. China has been very reluctant to take any drastic measures that might potentially collapse North Korea's economy.
FILE - A man watches a TV news report about a possible nuclear test conducted by North Korea at the Seoul Railway station in Seoul, South Korea, Sept. 3, 2017.
The text also drops calls to sanction North Korean leader Kim Jong Un or put in place a travel ban and asset freeze against him.
The U.S. has also dropped its call for council authorization to interdict North Korean vessels, with military force if necessary, when inspecting them for suspected illicit cargo.
The new draft places a travel ban on a member of the Workers' Party of Korea Central Military Commission and freezes the assets of the commission, which commands and controls North Korea's military and directs the country's military defense industries.
It also keeps a ban on North Korean textiles. Last year, the country's textile industry brought in nearly a billion dollars in revenue.
The resolution was drafted by the U.S. in response to Pyongyang's sixth underground nuclear test on September 3, which is believed to have been of the regime's first hydrogen bomb.
North Korea warned earlier Monday that the United States will pay 'a heavy price' if the U.N. Security Council approves more sanctions against Pyongyang.
'The world will witness how the DPRK [North Korea] tames the U.S. gangsters by taking a series of actions tougher than they have ever envisaged,' an official spokesman in Pyongyang said.
The Trump administration has said all options are on the table in dealing with North Korea, including a military response. The president has warned that any North Korean threat against the U.S. or its allies will be met with a harsh response.
Margaret Besheer, United Nations correspondent, contributed to this report.
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