United Nations slaps new sanctions on North Korea to slash cash from exports

Regolare Commento Stampare

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said China has always enforced United Nations resolutions responsibly, and that would be the case with the new sanctions.

The resolution slashed the DPRK's exports by imposing a binding cap cut on the DPRK's largest export, coal, by approximately $700 million per year from 2015 (more than 60%).

"The U.S. has imposed sanctions on many countries in the world, but wielding sticks without any carrots mostly amounts to nothing".

Fifteen votes, all in favor of the toughest sanctions ever imposed on the DPRK.

China says the planned USA deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) anti-missile system in South Korea would seriously affect China's security and do nothing to get North Korea back to the table. "No resolution in NY will likely, tomorrow, persuade Pyongyang to cease its relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons", she said.

The latest sanctions come after nearly three months of negotiations between Washington and Beijing, which has become increasingly unwilling to shelter its traditional ally out of frustration with its repeated weapons tests.

The Obama administration downplayed such concerns Tuesday. He said the sanctions were imposed as a result of weeks of "hard-nosed diplomacy" that also involved Russian Federation and China.

The US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, said that the move made by the UN is "the strongest sanctions regime the Security Council has imposed on any country in more than a generation".

In addition to the cap on coal, new penalties would ban exports of such nonferrous metals as copper, zinc, nickel and silver, putting another $100 million dent in the North's annual revenue.

Beijing regularly says it "firmly opposes" the North's nuclear tests, but analysts believe it has resisted targeting the country's fragile economy for fear of provoking the regime's collapse.

The North's coal exports to the Asian giant have continued unabated despite previous United Nations sanctions, which included exemptions allowing trade to continue for "livelihood" purposes but did not set criteria for the determination.

It remains to be seen whether China, considered the North's only real ally, will implement the sanctions.

"The bigger uncertainty is what posture Mr. Trump will take toward North Korea and Mr. Kim - and, by extension, toward Beijing", The Times noted. Ambassador Power stressed that for the resolution to have any material impact on the DPRK's behavior "all Member States of this United Nations must fully implement the sanctions that we have adopted today". He specifically described the THAAD deployment as "neither conducive to the realization of the goal of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula nor helpful to the maintenance of peace and stability on the peninsula".

The sanctions are an "unequivocal message that the DPRK must cease all the provocative actions and comply fully with its global obligations", UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.