China and Russia have joined a unanimous UN security council vote to impose new sanctions on North Korea after its sixth and largest nuclear test. The latest sanctions were agreed on Monday after the US removed some of its tougher proposals such as a complete oil embargo, however America is still talking of further action if there is no change.
“We are not looking for war,” said U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. “The North Korean regime has not yet passed the point of no return. If it agrees to stop its nuclear program, it can reclaim its future. If it proves it can live in peace, the world will live in peace with it. On the other hand, if North Korea continues its dangerous path, we would continue with further pressure.”
Despite years of diplomacy and sanctions Pyongyang has continued to develop its nuclear programme and now claims to have developed a hydrogen bomb. Far from being restrained by the threat of more drastic measures Kim Jong-un appears to have been celebrating the allegedly successful latest test a week ago.
US President Donald Trump had previously warned that the US could cut off trade with countries if they do business with North Korea. However the new sanctions fall short of what Mr.Trump would have liked – an oil import ban or international asset freeze on the government and leader Kim Jong-un.
The resolution does ban North Korea from importing all natural gas liquids, but it only caps Pyongyang’s imports of crude oil at the level of the last 12 months, and it limits the import of refined petroleum products to 2 million barrels a year.
It also bans all textile exports and prohibits all countries from authorising new work permits for North Korean workers — two key sources of hard currency.