Resolution circulated at U.N. Security Council
The frustrated council is acting in the wake of another North Korean nuclear test and a missile test
"These sanctions ... would send an unambiguous and unyielding message," says U.S. ambassador
The United States has unveiled a United Nations resolution on North Korea, packed with additional sanctions and designed to make a dent in the country’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
The resolution was circulated Thursday afternoon to the 15-nation Security Council. A vote could happen this weekend.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power told reporters that the resolution, if adopted, would represent the strongest set of U.N. sanctions imposed in more than two decades.
The frustrated Security Council is acting in the wake of another North Korean nuclear test and a missile test.
In January, Pyongyang claimed to have successfully tested a hydrogen bomb in its fourth nuclear test. Then on February 7, Pyongyang said it had successfully launched an Earth satellite into orbit via the long-range Kwangmyongsong carrier rocket. Both the test and the launch were carried out in defiance of international sanctions.
“These sanctions, if adopted, would send an unambiguous and unyielding message to the DPRK regime. The world will not accept your proliferation. There will be consequences for your actions, and we will work relentlessly and collectively to stop your nuclear program,” Power said.
She outlined key points of the proposal, including:
- All cargo going in and out of North Korea would be subject to mandatory inspection;
- All small arms and other conventional weapons would be prohibited from being sold to North Korea;
- Financial sanctions would target North Korean banks and assets;
- Limiting, and in same cases banning, exports of coal, iron, gold, titanium and rare earth minerals;
- Prohibiting the supply of aviation fuel, including rocket fuel.
Power stressed that the resolution is not meant to punish the people of North Korea.
“The North Korean people have suffered so much already under one of the most brutal regimes the world has ever known. Rather, this resolution focuses on a ruling elite that have inflicted so much of that suffering,” she said.
A U.S. official familiar with the text said the 22-page resolution lists 17 North Korean individuals and 12 North Korean entities that would be subject to sanctions. The people and companies are believed to be facilitators for North Korea’s weapons programs. Some operate overseas.
The company list includes the aerospace equivalent of NASA in Pyongyang. A major bank in North Korea suspected of conducting lots of financial transactions for the nation’s military nuclear and missile tests is also on the list, the official said. The sanctions would reportedly ban more luxury goods going into North Korea.
When asked whether the resolution would make a difference in North Korea’s behavior, the official expressed confidence.
“It will have an impact,” said the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
The French ambassador to the United Nations described the resolution as “unprecedented.”
“I believe the conditions are now met for a strong and consensual reaction by the Security Council of the United Nations. We believe we will soon have a resolution establishing unprecedented sanctions to break the cycle of irresponsible behavior by the North Korean regime, and to bring them back to the negotiation table,” said Ambassador Francois Delattre.