The new proposed resolution targets oil exports and expatriate workers sent to make money for the regime of Kim Jong Un. The US-authored draft was reportedly negotiated on with China ahead of the vote.
The United Nations Security Council scheduled a vote for Friday over a new raft of sanctions on North Korea. The US-drafted proposal drastically caps oil exports to the isolated country in a bid to economically cripple Pyongyang into abandoning its missile program.
The measures in the draft circulated to the Council’s 15 member states also included the repatriation of North Koreans working abroad within the next year, according to Reuters news agency. Experts believe that tens of thousands of North Koreans are forced to carry out manual labor in foreign countries to make money for the regime of Kim Jong Un.
The resolution also seeks to ban about 90 percent of refined petroleum products to North Korea, capping exports to Pyongyang at 500,000 barrels a year.
Washington has long been calling on Beijing to stop oil exports to Pyongyang, with China always stopping short of imposing what the US deems truly painful sanctions.
The proposed sanctions follow North Korea’s test of an intercontinental ballistic missile at the end of November. The North Korean government said the missile was capable of hitting any part of the United States. It was the 20th time the North launched a ballistic missile this year.
Although it remained unclear how China would vote on the resolution, UN diplomats told reporters that China and the United States had negotiated the language of the draft last week.
If the sanctions pass, it would be the 10th such resolution against North Korea over its weapons program in the past 11 years. The last sanctions resolution was adopted in September after North Korea’s sixth and strongest nuclear test.
On Thursday, Kim Jong Un proclaimed in a speech that “nobody can deny” that his country “poses a substantial nuclear threat to the US.”
es/sms (AP, Reuters)