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US and China unite as UN slaps new sanctions on North Korea

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US and China unite as UN slaps new sanctions on North Korea

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The United Nations Security Council has expanded targeted sanctions against North Korea after its repeated missile tests in defiance of a UN resolution.

Adopted unanimously by the 15-member council, it includes a travel ban and asset freeze on more bodies and officials, including the head of Pyongyang’s overseas spying operations.

The Trump administration has warned all options on the table.

“The Security Council is sending a clear message to North Korea today: stop firing ballistic missiles or face the consequences. We have never closed the door to dialogue with North Korea. But as we have said before, all options for responding to future provocations must remain on the table,” said the US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley.

The US has been pressing China to rein in its neighbour. This is the first such resolution agreed by the United States and Pyongyang’s major ally – since President Trump took office.

“China is opposed to such (missile) launches conducted by the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea). The resolution adopted by the council today has demonstrated the united position of the international community against the development of nuclear and missile programmes by the DPRK,” China’s UN Ambassador Liu Jieyi told the session.

The measures adopted by the UN could have been agreed behind closed doors but Washington convinced China to back a public vote on the blacklist.

The US has struggled to slow North Korea’s nuclear and missile development programmes. The matter has become a security priority given Pyongyang’s vow to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the US mainland.