World Economy

UN May Ban Some North Korea Exports

Coal has been North Korea’s largest export.Coal has been North Korea’s largest export.

A proposed new UN sanctions resolution would significantly increase economic pressure on North Korea to return to negotiations on its nuclear and missile programs by banning mineral and seafood exports worth over $1 billion—third of its total exports last year, a Security Council diplomat said Friday.

The draft resolution, obtained by The Associated Press, would also ban countries from giving any additional permits to North Korean laborers—another source of money for Kim Jong Un’s regime. And it would prohibit all new joint ventures with North Korean companies, and ban new foreign investment in existing joint ventures.

Egypt, which holds the Security Council presidency, said a vote on the draft resolution has been scheduled late Saturday.

The proposed new sanctions follow North Korea’s first successful tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States on July 3 and July 27. The Security Council has already imposed six rounds of sanctions that have failed to halt North Korea’s drive to improve its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons capabilities.

It is said that the draft resolution condemns the launches “in the strongest terms” and reiterates previous calls for North Korea to suspend all ballistic missile launches and abandon its nuclear weapons and nuclear program “in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner.”

The diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly, called it the “most impactful and expansive set of sanctions to date” and said the resolution is expected to be approved unanimously.

While the draft resolution would impose biting economic sanctions, the US didn’t get everything it wanted.

Oil was not included in the draft resolution and neither are new air restrictions. But the draft resolution would ban all exports of coal, iron, lead and seafood.

According to the diplomat, coal has been North Korea’s largest export, earning $1.2 billion last year which was then restricted by the Security Council to a maximum $400 million. This year, Pyongyang was estimated to earn $251 million from iron and iron ore exports, $113 million from lead and lead ore exports, and $295 million from seafood exports, the diplomat said.

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