Security Council Strengthens Measures Against North Korea's Nuclear Activities

By Newsroom America Staff at 1 Dec 2016

(Newsroom America) -- Strongly condemning the recent nuclear test conducted by North Korea (DPRK) on 9 September, the Security Council has unanimously adopted measures that United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described as "the toughest and most comprehensive sanctions regime ever" against that country.

Through a unanimously adopted resolution, the 15-member Council reaffirmed that the DPRK should not conduct any further nuclear tests, launches using ballistic missile technology, or any other provocation.

The sanctions target revenue sources for the North-east Asian country’s nuclear or ballistic missile programmes, with the Council for the first time imposing a limit on how much coal the DPRK can export per year.

According to the resolution, total exports of coal from the DPRK to all Member States should not exceed $400 million or 7.5 million metric tonnes annually, whichever is lower, beginning January 1, 2017. For the remainder of this year, the ceiling is $53.4 million, or one million metric tonnes.

Further to the text, each Member State that procures coal from the DPRK must report the aggregate amount of the volume of such procurement monthly. When 95 per cent of the aggregate yearly amount has been reached, Member States will be notified that they must immediately cease procuring coal from the DPRK for the year.

“I welcome the unanimous adoption of this new resolution. Maintaining such unity is crucial in tackling security challenges on the Korean Peninsula and beyond,” Mr. Ban told the Council.

The UN chief noted that since January, the DPRK has conducted two nuclear tests and at least 25 launches using ballistic missile technology, including launches of satellite, submarine-based ballistic missiles, and medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles.

This year, the Council has met on nine occasions in emergency consultations in response to the DPRK’s nuclear tests and ballistic missile activities.

“This is an unprecedentedly high number,” he said.

The resolution took nearly three months to materialize, following the nuclear test in September.

“The time taken to reach agreement on this resolution vividly illustrates the complex nature of the challenge,” Mr. Ban said.

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