UNSC to vote on new N. Korea sanctions

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United Nations, Aug 5 (IANS) The UN Security Council will vote on a resolution on Saturday over new sanctions on North Korea in response to its recent inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests.

According to the organisation, the vote will take place at 3 p.m. The 15 countries of the Security Council will have before them a text written by the US, which proposes a significant tightening of sanctions on Pyongyang, Efe news reported.

The new measures could reduce the income that the country obtains with its exports by up to $1 billion a year.

Among other things, the draft states that North Korea will not be able to directly or indirectly sell coal, iron and lead or seafood. All countries should ensure that their companies and citizens do not purchase these products.

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The text also states that governments should prohibit their nationals from initiating new joint ventures with North Korean entities or individuals and, with certain exceptions, expanding existing ones.

In addition, it expands the number of people and entities under UN sanctions, resulting in a ban on travel and the freezing of assets abroad.

In particular, it adds nine other individuals linked to the scheme and four entities, including the national insurance company, the main currency exchange bank and a group that sends North Korean workers to other countries.

The resolution comes after a month of negotiations between the US and China, North Korea’s main supporter in the Security Council, in order to try to reach an agreement to respond to Pyongyang’s first ICBM launch.

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Since the beginning of the process, Russia has been critical, questioning the advisability of increasing sanctions. Moscow, in addition, maintains differences with the West on the technical analysis of the last North Korean tests.

While most of the international community believes that the projectiles are ICBMs, capable of reaching Alaska, for example, Moscow speaks of medium-range rockets, similar to others previously tested.

To move forward, the resolution needs a favourable vote from nine of the 15 countries of the Security Council and no veto from the five permanent members, including Russia and China.



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