UNSC imposes tough sanctions on North Korea

UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously Wednesday to approve broad new sanctions against North Korea in response to its recent nuclear and missile tests.
The vote on the resolution, drafted by the United States and North Koreas close ally, China, during the council’s first meeting of the year, was delayed after Russia sought more time to review it and suggest changes. The sanctions would be the first to require North Korean cargo ships and aircraft to be inspected before entering and after leaving the Ease Asian country.
They would also prohibit small arms and other conventional weapons sales to North Korea.
North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear weapons test last month,claiming it tested a hydrogen bomb, and fired a long-range rocket over Japanese airspace on Feb. 7 in what was widely condemned as a test of missile technology banned by previous U.N. resolutions.
“Nearly all North Korean resources are channeled into its reckless nuclear programme,” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power told the council after the vote. “The government of North Korea would rather grow its nuclear program than grow its own children.”
“With each nuclear test and launch North Korea improves its ability to conduct a nuclear attack on most of the countries on this council,” Power said. “Its the only nuclear member state that routinely threatens nuclear attack on other countries, including members of this council.”
Despite past actions and prohibitions by the Security Council, “North Korea continues to press ahead,” Power said. “That is why these new measures are tougher than ever.”
China’s Ambassador Liu Jieyi said the sanctions should be followed up with a resumption of the so-called six-party talks with North Korea on the fate of its nuclear program.
“Sanctions are not an end in themselves,” Liu said. “Dialogue represents the only way to resolve the political issue on the Korean peninsula.”
Such talks should aim to remove nuclear weapons from the Korean
peninsula and to replace the armistice agreement in force since the end of the Korean War in 1953 with “a peace solution for the peninsula,” Liu said.
Liu, and Russia’s Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, also expressed their opposition to a U.S. plan to station Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missiles in South Korea in response to the North Korean violations.
“Currently, the situation on the Korean peninsula is highly tense and
sensitive, Liu said. “All parties should refrain from actions that will worsen tensions on the ground.”
Analysts agreed that China signed onto the new tougher sanctions out of frustration with North Korea’s nuclear and missile activities, but said how the accord is implemented will be key to its success.
China had tried in vain to convince North Korean leader Kim Jong-un not to test his missiles and nuclear weapons. APP