The United Nations Security Council on a 15-0 vote, passed the imposition of tougher new economic sanctions on North Korea for its latest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test last November 29.
Pyongyang conducted its 20th ICBM test launch on what was reportedly its most powerful missile yet. Military analysts believe the test launch confirm their worst fears that Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un is very close to developing a weapon with the capability of reaching U.S. mainland.
The new round of economic sanctions has the following key provisions:
- North Korea’s imports of refined oil products including diesel and kerosene will be capped at 500,000 barrels a year. This represents a 90% reduction in North Korea’s refined oil imports.
- Importation of crude oil will be capped at 4 million barrels a year and countries that are supplying oil will be required to submit quarterly reports to the UNSC committee tasked to monitor the sanctions on North Korea.
- A ban on the following exports from North Korea: food and agricultural products, machinery, electrical equipment, earth and stones, wood and vessels. Likewise, all countries are prohibited from importing these items.
- All countries are required to expel North Korean workers and safety monitors by the end of 2019. The United States Mission reports that there are nearly 100,000 overseas North Korean workers with around 50,000 located in China and 30,000 in Russia. The UNSC has concerns their earnings are used to fund the regime’s nuclear and ballistic missile development programs.
- N. member states may seize, inspect and impound any ship in their ports or territorial waters which are suspected of being involved in illegal smuggling and evasion of U.N. sanctions.
- All countries are prohibited from providing insurance or re-insurance to ships affiliated with North Korea that are believed to be involved in illegal sanctions, evasion of economic sanctions and are required to de-register these vessels.
- A total of 15 North Koreans including 13 who represent overseas banks and the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces were added to the U.N. sanctions blacklist.
The new economic sanctions don’t include harsher measures that are being pushed by the Trump administration. These provisions include the banning of all oil imports and freezing international assets of the government and Kim Jong Un.
The UNSC stated that the new resolution represented the organization’s regret that North Korea continues to divert its scarce resources away from its people, 41% of whom are undernourished, and toward the development of its nuclear weapons.
The council expressed hope that the tougher sanctions would lead to the resumption of six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear program and the eventual denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.