UN to vote Wednesday on new sanctions for North korea

A UN Security Council vote on the toughest sanctions on North Korea in two decades has been postponed until Wednesday morning at Russia's request, the United States and France said Tuesday.

See Full Article

The U.S. and North Korea's traditional ally China spent seven weeks negotiating the new sanctions - which include mandatory inspections of cargo leaving and entering North Korea by sea or air - in response to Pyongyang's latest nuclear test and rocket launch. Both are in defiance of previous council resolutions.

But Russia, which received the new draft Thursday along with other council members, asked for time to study the lengthy text, and suggested changes.

The United States late Monday asked the council to schedule a vote Tuesday afternoon. But the U.S. Mission to the United Nations said "Russia invoked a procedural 24-hour review of the resolution, so the vote will be on Wednesday."

Angola's UN Ambassador Ismael Gaspar Martins, the current council president, said hopefully the resolution will be adopted "by consensus."

The U.S., its Western allies and Japan pressed for new sanctions that went beyond the North's nuclear and missile programs but China, Pyongyang's neighbour, was reluctant to impose measures that could threaten the stability of North Korea and cause its economy to collapse.

The final draft, obtained by The Associated Press, would eliminate loopholes in previous sanctions resolutions and impose new ones. But it stresses that the new measures are not intended to have "adverse humanitarian consequences" for civilians, the majority who face economic hardships and food shortages.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Tuesday that the U.S. administration knows the North Korean people "have suffered for far too long" because of decisions from their government. "And that's why this sanctions regime is targeted more specifically at the North Korean elite."

For the first time, the draft resolution would require the 192 other UN member states to inspect all cargo from North Korea or heading to the country for illicit goods, ban any sale or transfer of small arms and light weapons to Pyongyang, and require all countries to expel diplomats from the North who engage in "illicit activities."

It would also for the first time impose significant sanctions on broad sections of the North Korean economy.

The draft resolution would ban the export of coal, iron and iron ore that is being used to fund North Korea's nuclear or ballistic missile programs - and it would prohibit all exports of gold, titanium ore, vanadium ore and rare earth minerals. It would also ban aviation fuel exports to the country, including "kerosene-type rocket fuel."

Earnest said North Korea uses revenue from sectors like coal, iron, gold, titanium and rare earth materials to bankroll its nuclear and missile programs, and "the North Korean ruling elite" also benefits from those sectors.

In the financial and banking sector, countries would be required to freeze the assets of companies and other entities linked to Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs. Under a previous resolution, they were encouraged to do so.

The draft would also prohibit all countries from opening new branches, subsidiaries and representative offices of North Korean banks, and ban financial institutions from establishing new joint ventures or establishing or maintaining correspondent relationships with these banks. It would also order countries to close all North Korean banks and terminate all banking relationships within 90 days.

North Korea is already subject to four rounds of UN sanctions imposed since the country's first nuclear test in 2006.

Under those resolutions, it is banned from importing or exporting nuclear or missile items and technology as well as luxury goods.

The new draft would expand the list of banned items - adding luxury items such as expensive watches, snowmobiles, recreational water vehicles and lead crystal.

It would also add 16 individuals, 12 "entities" including the National Aerospace Development Agency which was responsible for February's rocket launch, and 31 ships owned by the North Korean shipping firm Ocean Maritime Management Company to the sanctions blacklist which requires the freezing of assets, and in the case of individuals a travel ban as well.

In addition to the mandatory inspection of cargo heading to or from North Korea by air or sea, the draft resolution would ban Pyongyang from chartering vessels or aircraft, and call on countries to "de-register" any vessel owned, operated or crewed by the North.

While focusing on new sanctions, the draft resolution also demands that North Korea immediately comply with the Security Council's previous bans on ballistic missile launches, nuclear tests "or any other provocation." It also reaffirms the council's decisions that the North abandon all nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, and its ballistic missile program.

As with previous resolutions, the test will be whether UN member states enforce the sanctions. A UN panel of experts monitoring the sanctions has repeatedly pointed out that enforcement in a significant number of cases has been weak.

North Korea has ignored many demands, and tried to circumvent others.

It started off the new year with what it claims was its first hydrogen bomb test on Jan. 6 and followed up with the launch of a satellite on a rocket on Feb. 7. It was condemned by much of the world as a test of banned missile technology.

The draft resolution reiterates "the importance of maintaining peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and in northeast Asia at large, and expresses its commitment to a peaceful, diplomatic and political solution to the situation." It calls for a resumption of six-party talks leading to the goal of "the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean peninsula in a peaceful manner." North Korea withdrew from the talks in 2008.

It also expresses the council's "determination to take further significant measures" in the event of another North Korean nuclear test or launch.

-----

Associated Press writers Kevin Freking in Washington and Cara Anna in New York contributed to this report.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Calgary couple accused of abusing nieces and nephew to learn fate in June

    Canada News CTV News
    CALGARY -- A couple accused of abusing their two nieces and a nephew with implements that included wooden spoons, needles and barbecue forks are to learn their fate in June. The children's parents were killed in a car crash in the United States in 2006 and the kids, who were all under 10, were adopted by their maternal aunt and uncle, who moved them to Calgary. Source
  • U.S. softwood tariffs prompt NDP claim of "inaction" against Christy Clark

    Canada News CTV News
    BURNABY, B.C. - British Columbia NDP Leader John Horgan is accusing Liberal Leader Christy Clark of delay and inaction in the wake of American demands for duties on Canadian softwood. Horgan issued a news release saying he is disappointed by the United States government's decision to level an average 20 per cent duty on Canadian softwood, effective May 1. Source
  • Halifax council votes to put Cornwallis name on city property under microscope

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX -- In a move Halifax's mayor calls a step toward reconciliation with indigenous people in the municipality, regional council has voted to examine the use of Edward Cornwallis's name on city property. Mayor Mike Savage says council's decision Tuesday stands by a pledge it made in 2015 to develop a strong working relationship with the city's aboriginal residents based on truth, dignity and mutual respect. Source
  • Alberta needs new operations centre to manage disasters: minister

    Canada News CTV News
    EDMONTON -- Alberta is looking at building a new operations centre to better manage how it responds to disasters such as the Fort McMurray wildfire. Municipal Affairs Minister Shaye Anderson said the need for a larger and more modern nerve centre is one of the lessons learned from the fire last May that forced more than 80,000 people to flee the area and destroyed 2,400 homes and buildings. Source
  • White House lack of transparency in Michael Flynn investigation blasted

    World News CBC News
    President Donald Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, appeared to violate federal law when he failed to seek permission or inform the U.S. government about accepting tens of thousands of dollars from Russian organizations after a trip there in 2015, leaders of a House oversight committee said Tuesday. Source
  • Police nab suspects in Paraguay robbery involving tens of millions

    World News CBC News
    Twelve men suspected of taking part in a dramatic, multimillion-dollar theft from an armoured car company in a Paraguayan border city have been arrested in Brazil, officials in the Brazilian Federal Police said Tuesday. The men are thought to be among roughly 50 men who used explosives to blast into the vault of the Prosegur company in Ciudad del Este, then escaped into Brazil, Federal Police Inspector Fabiano Bordignon said. Source
  • LCBO workers vote overwhelmingly in favour of a strike

    Canada News CBC News
    Liquor Control Board of Ontario staff have voted 93 per cent in favour of a strike as their union continues to bargain for a new collective agreement. Voting by members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union was held Monday and Tuesday. Source
  • China launches first domestically-made aircraft carrier

    World News CTV News
    BEIJING - China launched its first aircraft carrier built entirely on its own on Wednesday, in a demonstration of the growing technical sophistication of its defence industries and determination to safeguard its maritime territorial claims and crucial trade routes. Source
  • Watchdog says ASEAN must stand vs. killings in Philippines

    World News CTV News
    MANILA, Philippines - An international human rights watchdog is calling on Southeast Asian leaders to take a stand against the Philippines' war on drugs that has left thousands dead under President Rodrigo Duterte, the host of this week's regional summit. Source
  • Chobani sues provocateur Alex Jones for spreading sex assault, migrant claims

    World News CBC News
    Greek yogurt giant Chobani filed a lawsuit Monday against right-wing radio host Alex Jones, accusing the conspiracy theorist of publishing false information about the company. Chobani says that Jones and his InfoWars website posted fabricated stories earlier this month that linked Chobani owner Hamdi Ulukaya and the company to a sexual assault case involving refugee children. Source