The UN Security Council (UNSC) on Saturday unanimously voted to impose a new resolution on North Korea that would cut the country’s export revenues by $1 billion.
The new UN measures were passed in response to North Korea’s recent tests of the Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on July 4 and July 28.
The resolution targets North Korea’s trade in coal, iron, lead and seafood, potentially reducing the value of the DPRK’s exports by a third.
“This time the (Security) Council has matched its word and actions,” U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said after resolution’s passage. “The resolution we passed is a strong united step to holding North Korea accountable.”
Haley added the newest UN measures were the “single largest economics sanctions package” passed by the UNSC, and the toughest sanctions in “a generation.”
But Haley warned that the measures alone were not enough, and that the international community was “not even close” to denuclearizing the DPRK.
Haley also thanked the Chinese delegation for their support and contribution to the new resolution.
China is the primary customer for the North’s exports, and it will now have 30 days to pass legislation to implement the new resolution and cease imports of North Korean iron, lead, and seafood.
Beijing has already said it suspended imports of all North Korean coal in February, while no member state has purchased what was once the DPRK’s most valuable commodity for three months, according to the UN 1718 Committee’s website.
The newly prohibited exports join gold, silver, titanium, vanadium, copper, nickel, zinc and rare earth minerals on the list of goods that member states cannot import from the DPRK.
The new measures additionally target the DPRK’s use of foreign labor, another of the North Korean government’s sources of foreign currency.
It is estimated that more than 50,000 North Korean workers are employed throughout Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa.
The vast majority are currently employed in China and Russia, according to a report by Marzuki Darusman, former UN Special Rapporteur on North Korean human rights.
It also places new travel bans and asset freezes on several North Korean individuals, blacklisting representatives of the Ilsim International Bank, the Foreign Trade Bank, Korea Mining Development Corporation (KOMID), and the Tangun Trading Corporation branch, among others.
The focus will now be on the resolution’s implementation by China and, to a lesser extent, Russia. UN Resolutions passed last year also included attempts to limit the DPRK’s trade revenues, though patchy enforcement meant they were not as successful as intended.
“The restrictions on North Korean exports are important, but I doubt China and Russia will implement them,” Anthony Ruggiero Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies told NK News.
“Overall, the resolution shows the limits of pursuing North Korea sanctions at the UN.”