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Oil will keep flowing, but United Nations sanctions hit Pyongyang hard

14 September 2017

North Korea has been hit by a new set of United Nations sanctions following the country's latest nuclear test on September 3rd.

Still, the revised draft resolution would cap shipments of refined petroleum products at 2 million barrels a year while limiting crude oil exports to North Korea to current levels, the diplomat said.

The resolution is created to accomplish six major goals: cap North Korea's oil imports, ban textile exports, end additional overseas laborer contracts, suppress smuggling efforts, stop joint ventures with other nations and sanction designated North Korean government entities, according to a United States official familiar with negotiations.

Still, Monday's 15-0 U.N. Security Council vote - for increased restrictions on oil and money not quite as tough as originally proposed by the USA - was an important display of global angst regarding North Korea's recently aggressive missile tests.

The original U.S. draft would have ordered all countries to impose an asset freeze and travel ban on Kim Jong Un and four other top party and government officials.

Should the sanctions resolution pass, it said, Pyongyang's forthcoming measures "will cause the US the greatest pain and suffering it had ever gone through in its entire history".

"Today we are saying the world will never accept a nuclear armed North Korea", she said.

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With fresh United Nations sanctions and bitcoin's skyrocketing value, "the potential windfall from these attacks has risen accordingly", Boland said.

On a recent visit to the Chinese border with North Korea, several Chinese traders told Reuters the Chinese government is strictly enforcing United Nations sanctions to the point that some businesses that rely on trade with North Korea have already gone bankrupt or traders have had to start trading in non-sanctioned goods.

North Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a strongly-worded statement toward the US -penned sanctions on Monday.

"We don't take pleasure in further strengthening sanctions today".

The resolution asks countries around the world to inspect ships going in and out of North Korea's ports (a provision put in place by the Security Council in 2009) but does not authorize the use of force for ships that do not comply, as the Trump administration had originally proposed.

It also adds language underscoring the Security Council's commitment to North Korea's sovereignty and territorial integrity, to "a peaceful and diplomatic solution to the situation", and "its concern that developments on the Korean Peninsula could have risky, large-scale regional security implications".

China has long anxious that a total oil cutoff would lead to North Korea's collapse.

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His business has already been harmed by worsening US-North Korea ties: a boat load of American tourists headed to the country had to be canceled after Washington banned its citizens from visiting North Korea.

"If the goal of the sanctions is to create difficulties for ordinary workers and their ability to make a livelihood, then a ban on textiles will work", said Paul Tjia, an outsourcing specialist who regularly visits North Korea.

"The U.S.is trying to use the DPRK's legitimate self-defensive measures as an excuse to strangle and completely suffocate it", the statement said, using the acronym for North Korea's formal name. Ultimately, China and Russian Federation will have to decide if they want to stay aligned to North Korea, a nation that offers little value except as a buffer against US hegemony, or if they want to maintain amicable relations with the world's largest superpower. The U.S. estimates about 93,000 North Koreans are now working overseas, the official said.

The text was agreed to after final negotiations between the USA and China, the North's ally and major trading partner.

The latest resolution does not include North Korean leader Kim Jong-un or his sister on its blacklist, as initially proposed.

But that missile defence system was deployed as a response to North Korea's weapons programme.

Frustrated by Beijing's foot-dragging on reining in Pyongyang, the Trump administration has begun sanctioning Chinese banks and other entities over their failure to comply with existing U.N. Security Council sanctions resolutions on North Korea.

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Oil will keep flowing, but United Nations sanctions hit Pyongyang hard