UN Slaps North Korea with Harshest- Ever Sanctions Imposed on any Country
Voting 15-0, the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday slapped North Korea with its toughest sanctions in response to Pyongyang's latest nuclear test on September 9, its fifth and largest missile test.
The new sanctions, unanimously passed by the Council in which China is a member, is believed to be the harshest ever punishment it imposed on any country "in more than a generation."
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The new resolution sanctions have hit North Korea where it hurts most, and that is by slashing its key coal exports to China, the single external source of earnings of the isolated state.
The new resolution, spearheaded by the United States, was fiercely negotiated between China and the other member-countries of the Council for three months before it was adopted on Wednesday by a 15-0 vote.
Under the resolution, the UN has put a cap on North Korea's coal exports to China, restricting it from exporting more than 7.5 million tonnes of coal in 2017.
The export restrictions would dramatically reduce Pyongyang's coal exports by more than 60 percent roughly, estimated at $700 million from 2015.
US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said the sanctions would prevent the belligerent state from having access to hard currency that could be used to fund its nuclear weapons program.
Power, in a press conference on Wednesday at the UN headquarters, described the resolution as "the strongest sanctions the Security Council has imposed on any country in more than a generation."
While UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged all nations to implement the resolution. He, however, also called on them to provide humanitarian aid to the ordinary citizens of North Korea who would be affected by the enforcement of the sanctions.
Ban continues to push for dialogue he called on Pyongyang to cease its nuclear tests and comply fully with its international obligations.