03/03/2016, 09.41
Send to a friend

UN approves sanctions against Pyongyang. Which responds by launching missiles

The United Nations Security Council agrees "heaviest sanctions in 20 years”, targeting exports, imports, checks on all means of transport to and from the North Korean regime. Also luxury items of elite led by Kim Jong-un. Several short-range missiles fired into the sea, humanitarian programs look set to end.

Seoul (AsiaNews) - The North Korean military has fired several short-range missiles from its coastal stations, in response to the approval of a package of sanctions by the UN Security Council. The missiles, still unidentified, have all fallen into the sea. But the propaganda of the regime led by Kim Jong-un has announced "a much more serious response to the UN" within the next few hours. The aggravation of tension on the Korean peninsula seems to condemn all humanitarian aid to the population of the North, that has struggled to restart after the stop imposed by Seoul.

The 15-member UN Security voted unanimously what has been called "the heaviest sanctions in the last 20 years". The decision was taken after the agreement between the US and China (historic North Koren ally), in response to Pyongyang’s nuclear test on January 6 and the launch of long-range missiles February  7. The Council has also sent a written warning to the North government, asking it to restart "as soon as possible" the dialogue on nuclear disarmament or "accept the total isolation".

Specifically, the measures taken by the UN affect nearly all sensitive sectors of the economy of North Korea. Member States are required to inspect all cargo coming from the country or directed to it, both by air and sea, for "illegal" assets. The embargo on the sale of weapons is also still in place: every North diplomat caught in activities related to the arms trade will be expelled from the country of residence.

The sanctions also target the mining sector, one of the most profitable of the northern part of the peninsula. The sale of all minerals has been blocked "except those intended for pure survival”.  This will effect the coal market, from which Pyongyang earns a billion US dollars a year (equal to one third of its total exports), and that of steel, which is worth 200 million.

Sanctions include banning jet and rocket fuel supplies to the country, grounding North Korean flights suspected of carrying contraband and denying vessels suspected of carrying illicit items access to ports. Luxury watches, snowmobiles, recreational watercraft such as Sea-Doos and sports equipment are also banned from sale to North Korea, in sanctions targeting Pyongyang’s elites.

From the financial point of view, no North Korean bank can open a branch or request a partnership with any institution in UN member states. The overseas assets of 12 different bodies and 20 individuals has been frozen; controls on agencies such as espionage and of course the one dedicated to the development of nuclear power have been stepped up.

The governments of South Korea, Japan, the United States and China have welcomed the UN decision, and said that now the fate of North Korea is "entirely in the hands of its rulers, who must reason with wisdom for the good of their people. " The only voice not entirely aligned is Russian: Moscow's UN ambassador, Vladimir Churkin, said the resolution "is not 100% perfect," but added that "nevertheless it was voted".

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
Tensions between Seoul and Pyongyang rise as Cold War fears cast a shadow over Korea
12/02/2016 15:14
Pyongyang: satellite launch “imminent”
Pyongyang: an avalanche of anti-Seoul and anti-Moon leaflets
20/06/2020 11:03
Allied bombers fly over the Korean peninsula. Jimmy Carter pushes for dialogue
11/10/2017 10:02
UN, no agreement on sanctions against Pyongyang over missile launch


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”