UN votes Wednesday on tough new North Korea sanctions

The UN Security Council votes Wednesday on a resolution that would impose the toughest sanctions on North Korea in two decades.

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.

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."

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. That requires the freezing of assets and, in the case of individuals, a travel ban as well.

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.

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 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.

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



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Indonesian president vows to rebuild after deadly quake

    World News CTV News
    TRINGGADING, Indonesia - Indonesia's president travelled to areas devastated by a magnitude 6.5 earthquake and vowed that torn-apart communities would be rebuilt. Stopping Friday morning at a collapsed mosque in Tringgading not far from the quake's epicenter, Joko "Jokowi" Widodo gave money to people who had lost family members. Source
  • Lethal mistake leads to harrowing ambush in Mosul

    World News CTV News
    IRBIL, Iraq -- As Iraqi forces advanced toward the al-Salam hospital in Mosul earlier this week, encountering only light resistance from Islamic State fighters, commanders decided to seize the facility instead of sweeping the neighbourhoods along the road leading to it. Source
  • Bolivian official breaks silence about air crash in Colombia

    World News CTV News
    LA PAZ, Bolivia -- A Bolivian aviation official who signed off on the flight plan for a chartered aircraft that crashed in the Andes is breaking her silence and accusing her bosses of trying to stage a coverup. Source
  • Official accuses bosses of cover up in crash that wiped out soccer team

    World News Toronto Sun
    LA PAZ, Bolivia — A Bolivian official who signed off on the flight plan for a chartered aircraft that crashed in the Andes is breaking her silence and accusing her bosses of trying to stage a coverup. Source
  • Chris Hadfield mourns the loss of 'class act' and inspiration, John Glenn

    Canada News CBC News
    Col. Chris Hadfield — Canada's most recognizable former astronaut — says the death of his idol and colleague John Glenn is tragic. "He was absolutely one of the inspiring figures that dictated the life that I chose to follow," Hadfield told CBC Calgary News at 6 on Thursday, after news of Glenn's passing surfaced earlier in the day. Source
  • Biden calls on Trudeau to defend international ’rules of road’

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    OTTAWA - U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to be a defender of the international “rules of the road” to help shepherd the world through a period of deep uncertainty. Biden delivered that message in a stirring speech at a state dinner in his honour in Ottawa on Thursday night, in which he singled out the fight against climate change as the most important issue of this generation. Source
  • Canadians react to the new Viola Desmond $10 banknote

    Canada News CTV News
    A black Nova Scotian woman who refused to be ousted from a whites-only section of a segregated movie theater will grace the front of Canada’s new $10 banknote in 2018. The announcement by Finance Minister Bill Morneau on Thursday marks the first time a Canadian woman will be immortalized on the front of her country’s currency. Source
  • 'Frustrating' backlog of refugee applications will likely get longer as federal targets drop

    Canada News CBC News
    Spurred on by this year's fast-tracking of displaced Syrians, nearly 30,000 more people are in line to come to Canada as refugees — but they may be in for a wait as the total number of refugees to be resettled in the coming year is much lower than this year's target. Source
  • Mexico finds 110 suffocating migrants in trailer after crash

    World News CTV News
    FILE - In this July 29, 2010 file photo, deportees pray as they gather for breakfast provided by the Kino Border Initiative in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Source
  • Quebec Algonquins file title claim to downtown Ottawa

    Canada News CBC News
    In a move to block a treaty between the Algonquins of Ontario and the federal and Ontario governments, a group of Quebec Algonquins have filed an Aboriginal title claim for lands in downtown Ottawa, including Parliament Hill, the Supreme Court of Canada and Lebreton Flats. Source