UNITED NATIONS (AP) - The U.N. Security Council on Monday unanimously approved new sanctions on North Korea in a watered-down resolution that eliminated a ban on all oil imports and an international asset freeze on the government and leader Kim Jong Un that the Trump administration wanted.
The resolution does ban North Korea from importing all natural gas liquids and condensates. But it 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 countries from authorizing new work permits for North Korean workers - two key sources of hard currency for the northeast Asian nation.
U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley told the council after the vote that “these are by far the strongest measures ever imposed on North Korea ... but we all know these steps only work if all nations implement them completely and aggressively.”
“Today we are saying the world will never accept a nuclear armed North Korea,” she said. “We are done trying to prod the regime to do the right thing” and now are instead taking steps to prevent it “from doing the wrong thing.”
Haley reiterated that the United States does not want war and said “North Korea has not yet passed the point of no return.” She said if Pyongyang gives up its nuclear program and proves it can live in peace, the world will live in peace with it.
The resolution represents a swift response to North Korea’s sixth and strongest nuclear test explosion Sept. 3, which it said was a hydrogen bomb, and to its escalating launches of increasingly sophisticated ballistic missiles that it says can reach the United States.
The text was agreed to after final negotiations between the U.S. and China, the North’s ally and major trading partner. Haley praised the “strong relationship” between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping for enabling the resolution’s adoption.