09/12/2017, 09.02

UN, new sanctions for Pyongyang, also backed by Russia and China

The US draft “watered-down": only 30% of North's petroleum, textiles and work exports cut. No freezing of Kim Jong-un's foreign accounts. For Pyongyang, the US is "a thirsty animal". Seoul excludes the return of US nuclear warheads.

New York (AsiaNews) - The UN Security Council yesterday unanimously adopted new and additional sanctions for North Korea, which continues to advance its military nuclear program.

To gain the support of Russia and China, the US Resolution proposal was slightly watered down. The original draft foresees the cut of all oil supplies and the freezing of Kim Jong-un's overseas accounts. Instead under the approved text oil supplies will only be cut by 30%, but it adds also a cut for North Korean textile exports, the second country's industry, with a business volume of at least $ 700million. Measures were also taken to block the use of North Korean workforce abroad.

The latest UN resolution against North Korea was voted on August 5, by placing a ban on the sale of coal, minerals, and fish products, which reduced the annual Pyongyang earnings by at least one billion US dollars.

North Korea has slammed the new sanctions. The KCNA state agency defines the US as "a bloodthirsty beast obsessed with the wild dream" of reversing Pyongyang's nuclear programme. It warned that if the US did eventually push through harsher sanctions, North Korea would "absolutely make sure that the US pays due price."

Today, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said his country fully supports new sanctions. At the same time, he hopes there will be a diplomatic and political solution to the crisis, with the return to the sixth dialogue for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

South Korea is also keeping the path of dialogue open. South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon was satisfied with the "consensus" expressed by the international sanctions community. He also ruled out the return to the South of US nuclear weapons, as it was aired instead by Washington.

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