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North Korea sanctions: What impact will new export bans and import caps have?

12 September 2017 6:52 AM
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Here's how these sanctions will work and how they will impact North Korea.

The United Nations does not define sanctions in its charter, but they are understood to be restrictions imposed on activities that relate to particular countries, goods and services, or persons and entities.

Sanctions can usually range from "comprehensive economic and trade sanctions to more targeted measures such as arms embargoes, travel bans, and financial or commodity restrictions," the UN says.

A Sanctions Committee, which acts as a subsidiary of the Security Council, is tasked with implementing, monitoring and providing recommendations to the council on particular sanctions regimes.

In some cases, an expert panel is created to assist the sanctions committee. It also monitors the implementation of the sanctions measures and reports its findings to the committee, or in some cases directly to the Council.

Expert panels are usually comprised of "between five to eight technical experts" — whose expertise can differ depending on the sanctions that are imposed — the UN says, all of whom are appointed by the Secretary-General.

No. It's the ninth sanctions resolution unanimously adopted by the 15-member council since 2006 over North Korea's ballistic missile and nuclear programs.

US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said the resolution aimed to hit "North Korea's ability to fuel and fund its weapons program".

The sanctions include a ban on condensates and natural gas liquids, a cap of 2 million barrels a year on refined petroleum products, and a cap on crude oil exports to North Korea at current levels.

A US official, familiar with the council negotiations and speaking on condition of anonymity, said North Korea imported some 4.5 million barrels of refined petroleum products annually and 4 million barrels of crude oil.

It also aimed to ban textile exports, end additional overseas labourer contracts, suppress smuggling efforts, stop join ventures with other nations and sanction designated North Korean government entities, a US source familiar with the negotiations told CNN.

The resolution means North Korea is now banned from exporting textiles — its second-biggest export after coal and other minerals in 2016, totalling $US752 million ($938 million), according to data from the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency. Nearly 80 per cent went to China.

"This resolution also puts an end to the regime making money from the 93,000 North Korean citizens it sends overseas to work and heavily taxes," Ms Haley said.

"This ban will eventually starve the regime of an additional $US500 million ($623 million) or more in annual revenues."

The United States were hoping to impose tougher restrictions, with Ms Haley last week calling for the "strongest possible sanctions" against North Korea.

But after several days of negotiations, Washington dropped several measures to win the support of Pyongyang allies, Russia and China — including a bid for an oil embargo and the blacklisting of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and the national airline.

"We don't take pleasure in further strengthening sanctions today. We are not looking for war," Ms Haley told the council after the vote.

In negotiations on the latest resolution, diplomats said Russia had questioned what leverage the Security Council would have left if North Korea continued to conduct nuclear and missile testing.

Russia had condemned the idea of tightening sanctions on North Korea without any political push to resolve the crisis.

But the country's UN ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, told the Security Council that Moscow supported the resolution because "leaving nuclear tests without a firm reaction would be wrong".

Chinese officials have also privately expressed fears that an oil embargo could risk causing massive instability in its neighbour.

Russia and China have also expressed concern about the humanitarian impact of strengthening sanctions on North Korea.

However, North Korea did not issue a response immediately after the adoption of the latest resolution.


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