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UN imposes new sanctions on North Korea after missile test

Tough new sanctions will be imposed on North Korea after it tested a ballistic missile which Pyongyang claims could reach the US mainland.

Members of the UN Security Council voted unanimously to impose sanctions including sharply lower limits on North Korea’s oil imports in a resolution on Friday.

The resolution also means all North Koreans working abroad must return home within two years, and there is a crackdown on ships smuggling banned items including coal and oil to the secretive country.

After the vote, President Trump tweeted: “The United Nations Security Council just voted 15-0 in favour of additional Sanctions on North Korea. The World wants Peace, not Death!”

The Trump administration had sought harsher terms in the resolution, such as a ban on all oil imports, and the freezing of international assets, but they were not included.

The resolution was drafted by US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, with China, but was criticised by other council members for the short period of time they had to consider them, and for some last-minute changes.

 Nikki Haley, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, speaks with Deputy Permanent Representative Ambassador Wu Haitao
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Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN

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But Ms Haley said: “The unity this council has shown in levelling these unprecedented sanctions is a reflection of the international outrage at the Kim regime’s actions.”

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said: “I welcome the unanimous adoption of the UNSC resolution on North Korea. The international community has shown that it is united in its condemnation of North Korea’s reckless behaviour.

“This resolution takes vital steps to reduce the export revenues that the North Korean regime diverts away from its people to fund its illegal nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

“These further measures adopted show Kim Jong-Un that he has the choice of two paths. To either continue the current path of provocation and isolation or to put the wellbeing of the North Korean people first. We urge North Korea to change its course.”

Boris Johnson
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Boris Johnson has welcomed the sanctions after his visit to Russia

Britain’s UN ambassador Matthew Rycroft said the Security Council is sending “a very strong united signal to the North Korean regime that enough is enough, that they must stop their nuclear program and they must stop their intercontinental ballistic missile programme”.

North Korea’s crude oil imports will be capped at four million barrels a year, with refined oil products capped at 500,000 a year, representing a 90% ban on the products.

It also faces new bans on exports including food products, machinery, and vehicles.

North Korea’s missile test on 29 November was its 20th this year, and added to fears that the country will soon have an arsenal capable of targeting the US mainland.

Approximately 93,000 North Koreans are working abroad according to US estimates. They will all have to return by the end of 2019.

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