The United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted new sanctions against North Korea in New York on Wednesday.
UNSC Resolution 2321 expands measures against North Korea for its continued violations of existing resolutions and its efforts to develop its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs.
The resolution was passed in response to North Korea’s fifth nuclear test in early September and adds to measures imposed by UNSC Resolution 2270, also unanimously passed in February following North Korea’s fourth nuclear test and satellite launch.
Critically, Resolution 2321 attempts to address the ongoing coal revenues by capping the DPRK’s exports to all UN Member States, at either $400,870,01 or 7.5 million metric tons.
The new resolution will also look to curb the North’s coal exports in the remaining months of 2016, limiting shipments to $53 million or 1 million tons.
The draft resolution adopted also includes further bans on the transfer of dual-use items to North Korea, which while applicable to civilian uses, can also be used in North Korea’s illicit programs.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, representatives of the 15 countries of the council and South Korea’s Ambassador to the UN all made statements of support for Resolution 2321 following the vote.
“The Security Council has today taken strong action on one of the most enduring and pressing peace and security challenges of our time…I welcome the unanimous adoption of this due resolution,” Ban said.
“Yet sanctions are only as effective as their implementation. It is incumbent upon all member states of the United Nations to make every effort to ensure that these sanctions are fully implemented.”
He also urged international partnership for capacity building in achieving this end.
Representatives from China and Russia spoke in favor of the sanctions as a measure in response to North Korea’s violations, but also reiterated their stance that resolutions should not negatively impact the population of North Korea and that efforts to renew dialogue must be made.
U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power spoke both immediately after the vote and during a press briefing with her South Korean and Japanese counterparts.
During the press briefing, Power spoke of three new significant inclusions within Resolution 2321.
This includes measures which would reduce hard currency earnings of the regime via the sale of resources by $800 million, the targeting of the ability of North Korean representatives overseas to gain hard currency through illicit mechanisms and – for the first time – the inclusion of statements that North Korea’s rights as a UN member could diminish should it continue its nuclear and ballistic weapons programs.
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Featured Image: UN Security Council by Gruban on 2006-12-17 14:04:43