Oil will keep flowing, but United Nations sanctions hit North Korea hard

Oil will keep flowing, but United Nations sanctions hit North Korea hard

Monday's resolution, the third Security Council action concerning the Asian country in five weeks, curtails the country's oil supply by nearly 30 per cent, bans all its textile exports worth $800 million and remittances of labourers from overseas, Xinhua news agency reported.

The resolution imposes a ban on condensates and natural gas liquids, a cap of two million barrels a year on refined petroleum products, and a cap on crude oil exports to North Korea at current levels. However, China and Russian Federation refused to accept the initial US proposal and have agreed to a more limited set of sanctions.

Specifically, this resolution will result in a 30% decrease in total oil imports by cutting off over 55% of refined petroleum products going to North Korea, the U.S. official told CNN.

Kim Hyun-Wook, professor at the Korea National Diplomatic Academy, warned there are "no means to check how much crude oil is delivered through the pipeline" between China and North Korea.

Mnuchin told a conference broadcast on CNBC that China agreed to "historic" sanctions on North Korea on Monday in a UN Security Council vote.

The sanctions were not the toughest-ever measures sought by the administration of US President Donald Trump that had vowed to ban all oil imports and freeze global assets of the government and its leader, Kim Jong-Un.

He said the North's access to hard currency was its "Achilles heel". The council also froze the assets of three additional entities: the Central Military Commission, the powerful Organization and Guidance Department that directs key personnel appointments and the Propaganda and Agitation Department, which oversees the North's media and its censorship.

Acting Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Susan Thornton attends a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on North Korea sanctions Tuesday on Capitol Hill in Washington.

The final agreement was reached after negotiations between the USA and China, the North's ally and major trading partner. "The North Korean regime has not yet passed the point of no-return", Haley told the council.

Under the measure, countries are authorized to inspect ships suspected of carrying banned North Korean cargo but must first seek the consent of the flag-state.

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U.S. ambassador Nikki Haley said Monday at the United Nations the tough new measures were a message to Pyongyang that "the world will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea".

So for instance, while the US wanted a total oil embargo, this resolution calls for a cap on oil exports to North Korea, cutting it, Haley says, by about 30 percent.

"We are done trying to prod the regime to do the right thing, we are now trying to stop it from having the ability to do the wrong thing", she added.

Beijing does not believe that sanctions will force the North Korean leader to surrender his weapons.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley said the tough new measures were a message to Pyongyang that "the world will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea", but she also held out the prospect of a peaceful resolution to the crisis. It has voted unanimously on a new sanctions resolution.

She presented a lengthy list of UN Security Council resolutions being flaunted, adding, despite the efforts of the past 24 years, Pyongyang's nuclear missile program was more risky than ever before.

Reaction in Asia to the latest round of worldwide sanctions imposed on North Korea has been positive, but many are still skeptical they will have any significant impact.

It may be recalled that North Korea had carried out its sixth nuclear test earlier this month on September 3.

Geng said that China "hopes that the contents of Resolution 2375 can be implemented in a comprehensive and complete manner".

In June, the United States slapped sanctions on the Bank of Dandong, a Chinese bank located at the border with North Korea, that it accused of "facilitating millions of dollars of transactions for companies involved in North Korea's WMD (weapons of mass destruction) and ballistic missile programs".

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