The UN Security Council [official website] reached a unanimous decision on Monday to adopt a US-drafted resolution [press release] imposing a series of fresh new sanctions on North Korea. Among other things, these sanctions include a ban on the supply, sale or transfer of all natural gas liquids and condensates and exports of textiles, a preliminary three-month ban on direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer of all refined petroleum products beyond 500,000 barrels and a one-year ban beyond two million barrels, and a ban on all refined petroleum products. The sanctions also extend some of the existing sanctions, which call for the freezing of the assets of certain individuals and entities. Additionally, these sanctions call for the freezing of an additional individual’s assets and those of three additional entities, a travel ban on these entities, and a prohibition on member states in regard to the provision of work authorization to North Korean nationals. In adopting the resolution, the Security Council strongly condemned North Korea’s nuclear test earlier this month urging the country to “immediately suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile and nuclear programmes in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner.” US representative Nikki Haley warned to “stop it ourselves” if North Korea does not end its nuclear and ballistic missile programs stating that “Half measures against the regime have not worked.” UN Secretary General António Guterres [official website] welcomed the resolution stating [UN News Centre report] that “This firm action by the Security Council sends a clear message that the DPRK must comply fully with its international obligations. Many countries including UK, France and Japan praised the resolution, while China hoped that the US would not use this as an opportunity to dispatch its military and change the Pyongyang regime
North Korea’s actions toward nuclear capability have alarmed many countries around the world in recent months, and the US has viewed such actions as persistent provocation. The last time the UNSC slapped sanctions on North Korea was barely three months ago in June when it decided to expand [JURIST report] existing sanctions placed on North Korea and applied those sanctions to 14 individuals and four organizations. In May, JURIST Guest Columnist and former human rights officer of the US Department of State [official website] James P. Rudolph discussed [JURIST op-ed] the consequences of waiting for North Korea to use its nuclear weapons. Only two days earlier, North Korea launched [JURIST report] a short range missile, creating strain in the reunification efforts with South Korea. Earlier the same month, Moon Jae-in [official website], sworn in as the nineteenth president of South Korea sought international assistance [JURIST report] with North Korean weapons threats. In February, Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe [official website] and US President Donald Trump [official profile] appeared in a joint press conference in Palm Beach, Florida, strongly condemning [JURIST report] a North Korean ballistic missile test.