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UN Vote on Thursday on US Push for More North Korea Sanctions over missile launch

The draft resolution will reduce the amount of oil that N Korea can legally import

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The US on Thursday has called for a vote on a resolution at the UN Security Council that could impose tougher sanctions on North Korea for launching intercontinental ballistic missiles on Wednesday.

The launch came after the leaders of South Korea and the United States agreed to consider expanded military exercises to deter North Korean nuclear threats during President Joe Biden's visit to Seoul last weekend. 

The draft resolution would “further restrict North Korea’s ability to advance its unlawful WMD (weapons of mass destruction) and ballistic missile programs, it would streamline sanctions implementation and further facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to those in need," a US official told Reuters. 

The draft resolution will also reduce the amount of oil that North Korea can legally import each year for civilian purposes from four million to three million barrels. 

In an earlier UNSC resolution in 2017, it was unanimously decided there would be further consequences in the event of another ICBM launch. 

The US official said that that was the provision and therefore it is time to take action. The US holds the presidency of the UN Security Council until the end of the month. 

Whether China and Russia will use their veto power to block the measure or abstain remains to be seen.

The UN has been imposing sanctions on North Korea since 2006. the Security Council, has, over time stepped up its attempts to try and cut off funding for Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. 

“We don’t think a resolution as proposed by the US can solve any problems," a spokesperson for China’s UN mission told Reuters. The spokesperson said the United States knows “the best way for de-escalation, but simply resists it." China has said Washington should show “more sincerity and flexibility" if it wants a breakthrough with North Korea. The spokesperson added that China had suggested the council adopt a formal statement instead of a sanctions resolution. 


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