U.N. Security Council passes sanctions on North Korea after missile tests

The United Nations Security Council unanimously agreed to ratchet up sanctions against North Korea in response to the nation’s two most recent ballistic missile tests, the U.S. mission to the U.N. announced Saturday.

The resolution passed after the U.S. and its allies managed to get the Chinese on board. This comes in wake of President Donald Trump’s repeated criticism of China for not doing enough to stop North Korea’s nuclear progress.

China’s willingness to support stricter sanctions could temporarily quell that criticism, but much will depend on how well the nation, North Korea’s biggest trading partner, adheres to the sanctions, and whether Pyongyang keeps pressing ahead with its program.

The Council approved Resolution 2371, which builds on previous U.N. sanctions against North Korea, and reiterated its call for the nation give up its ambitions of nuclear proliferation.

"[T]his resolution sends a clear message to North Korea that the Security Council is united in condemning North Korea’s violations and demanding North Korea give up its prohibited nuclear and ballistic missile programs,” the State Department said in a statement.

The measure targets North Korea’s largest source of external revenue by imposing a total ban on all exports of coal, in addition to iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood.

According to the State Department, such a ban would prevent North Korea from earning over $1 billion per year in hard currency.

"Today, the full Security Council has together to put the North Korean dictator on notice, and this time the council has matched its words and actions," U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said Saturday following the sanctions’ passage. "Today, the Security Council increased the penalty of North Korea’s ballistic activity to a whole new level."

The resolution also includes new restrictions on North Korea’s access to the international financial system by adding new sanction designations against individuals and entities that support the country’s nuclear and missile programs.

President Donald Trump has criticized North Korea for continuing its most recent ICBM missile tests in July. Trump has publicly expressed frustration with China, one the Security Council’s permanent members, for not doing more to help rein in North Korea.

Nahal Toosi contributed to this report.


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