UN Security Council strengthens North Korea sanctions

AFP , Wednesday 30 Nov 2016

The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday voted unanimously to tighten sanctions against North Korea following its most recent nuclear test, placing a cap on Pyongyang's coal exports to China.

The new sanctions resolution, which was spearheaded by the United States and came after three months of tough negotiations with fellow veto-wielding council member China, passed by a 15-0 vote.

The resolution aims to curb North Korea's coal exports -- the top external revenue source for the impoverished state -- by more than 60 percent, a US official said earlier.

The official voiced hope that the resolution would cut $700 million from North Korea's coal earnings, dramatically reducing the money it can use on nuclear and ballistic weapons.

China is North Korea's primary ally and one of the few markets for its coal.

China has traditionally protected North Korea diplomatically, believing that Kim Jong-Un's regime is preferable to its collapse, but has increasingly grown frustrated by the state's defiance.

The UN Security Council resolution condemns "in the strongest terms" North Korea's latest test on September 9.

Pyongyang claimed at the time it had made major strides in its efforts to fit a miniaturized warhead on a rocket that could reach the United States.

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