Harare, Zimbabwe (News of the South)-The United Nations Security Council has unanimously stepped up sanctions against North Korea.
The resolution was imposed on Monday over the rogue nation’s sixth and most powerful nuclear test on September 3, imposing a ban on the country’s textile exports and capping imports of crude oil.
was the ninth sanctions resolution unanimously adopted by the 15-member council since 2006 over North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says the government ‘strongly support’ the imposed sanctions.
Ms Bishop says spoke at length with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson last Thursday on the content of the UN resolution.
‘We noted that while North Korea is isolated diplomatically, it is not self sufficient economically,’ she said.
‘The secretary Tillerson and I agreed that every increasing economic pressure on North Korea is an essential pillar of the collective international strategy to compel north Korea to return to the negotiating table and abandon its illegal missile and nuclear programs.’
Ms Bishop says the new sanctions will target specific parts of the North Korean economy and ‘deny them hundreds of millions of dollars’.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten says the parliament is united in favour of the UN sanctions.
‘North Korea’s ballistic threat and missile tests are a direct threat not only to their neighbours but to the broader region and beyond,’ he said.
‘We should be upholding the UN security resolutions and doing more where we can, every nation has an obligation to do what they can.’
This includes a ban on the export of all North Korean textiles (worth $950 million a year), oil imports will be reduced by a third, a prohibition on natural gas imports, all joint ventures are banned and no North Korean worker will be permitted to work overseas.
The US watered down an initial tougher draft resolution to win the support of Pyongyang ally China and Russia.
Textiles were North Korea’s second-biggest export after coal and other minerals in 2016, totalling $937 million, according to data from the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency. Nearly 80 per cent of the textile exports went to China.
The resolution also imposes a cap of two million barrels a year on refined petroleum products, and a cap on crude oil exports to North Korea at current levels. China supplies most of North Korea’s crude.
A US official, familiar with the council negotiations and speaking on condition of anonymity, said North Korea imports some 4.5 million barrels of refined petroleum products annually and 4 million barrels of crude oil.
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