China, Russia join unanimous UNSC vote for US-backed sanctions on North Korea

Press TV – The UN Security Council has unanimously voted to adopt fresh US-backed sanctions against North Korea over its nuclear tests.

The resolution was adopted on Monday, after the US agreed to revise its initially proposed resolution following concerns by Russia and China.

“We are done trying to prod the regime from doing the right thing,” said US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley. “We are now trying to stop it from having the ability to do the wrong thing,” she added.

She added that the US does not wish to engage in war with Pyongyang and that the North has not “yet passed the point of no return.”

Members of the UN Security Council attends a meeting over North Korea on September 11, 2017.

“If it agrees to stop its nuclear program, it can reclaim its future. If it proves it can live in peace, the world will live in peace with it,” she added after the new measures were adopted.

Japan’s UN mission referred to the latest resolution “an urgent call for North Korea to change its behavior.”

The French UN mission referred to the new set of sanctions as an “antidote [which will] pave the way for a political solution” to the Korean peninsula crisis.

The initial draft had proposed a “progressive” oil embargo on Pyongyang, and called for a travel ban and asset freeze against Kim, along with four other North Korean officials, as well as restrictions on the country’s exports of textiles and the hiring of its laborers abroad.

The new version has dropped the call for blacklisting Kim, and only lists one of the four officials. The oil embargo was also excluded from the final text, which instead seeks a ban on condensates and natural gas liquids.

It also keeps the proposal for restrictive measures against textile exports, which were North Korea’s second-biggest export after coal and other minerals in 2016.

The draft resolution also no longer urges an asset freeze on the military-controlled national airline Air Koryo.

Russia and China have repeatedly called for a dialogue between North Korea, on the one side, and the US allies, on the other side, whereby Pyongyang would suspend its weapons program in return for an end to joint military drills by the US and South Korea.

North Korea has been slapped with nine rounds of UNSC sanctions since it conducted its first nuclear test in 2006. The US and the European Union have also imposed wide-ranging bans to isolate North Korea.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have heightened over Pyongyang’s nuclear tests, the most recent of which on September 3. Last week, the South Korean military said the North was preparing for another missile launch, possibly an ICBM test.

Before the new resolution was adopted, North Korea said that Washington will pay for leading the council over sanctions.

“In case the US eventually does rig up the illegal and unlawful ‘resolution’ on harsher sanctions, the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] shall make absolutely sure that the US pays due price,” said a statement published by the North’s official KCNA news agency. “The world will witness how the DPRK tames the US gangsters by taking a series of actions tougher than they have ever envisaged,” it added.

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