Alwaght- The United Nations Security Council has unanimously approved a new resolution imposing tough sanctions on North Korea following its sixth nuclear test conducted last week.
The UNSC resolution was passed Monday after Washington agreed to revise the draft to accommodate the positions and concerns voiced by Beijing and Moscow.
Following a series of behind-the-scenes negotiations Sunday, diplomats agreed not to ban oil exports into North Korea. Instead, the ninth set of restrictive sanctions against Pyongyang, unanimously adopted by the 15-member UN Security Council, following North Korea's sixth nuclear test earlier his month, authorized a cap of 2 million barrels a year of sales of refined petroleum products to North Korea, Reuters reported. The sanctions also place a cap on crude oil exports to the communist regime at current levels.
The UNSC also placed a ban on the country's textile exports, North Korea's second-biggest export, totaling $752 million, according to data from the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency.
Chinese and Russian negotiators have also managed to persuade the US delegation not to impose a travel ban or asset freeze on Kim Jong-un.
North Korea terms sanctions illegal
Just ahead of the Security Council meeting, the North Korean foreign ministry warned it will be forced to retaliate using “ultimate means,” should stricter sanctions follow.
“In case the US eventually does rig up the illegal and unlawful 'resolution' on harsher sanctions, the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] shall make absolutely sure that the US pays due price,” the ministry's statement read, according to the state-run KCNA news agency.
“The DPRK is ready and willing to use any form of ultimate means. The forthcoming measures to be taken by the DPRK will cause the US the greatest pain and suffering it had ever gone through in its entire history,” the statement added.
Russia and China have been calling for a peaceful resolution to the Korean crisis, urging both sides to avert provocations. While condemning North Korea's nuclear ambitions, Moscow and Beijing are pushing for the so-called double freeze initiative that would see North Korea suspend its missile and nuclear tests in exchange for South Korea and the US dropping their joint military exercises. The US has rejected the proposal, asserting that its own exercises are legal, unlike Pyongyang’s, which are subject to existing international sanctions.
North Korea blames the US for escalating tensions in the region through its provocative military drills. Pyongyang insists that it is developing nuclear weapons to deal with growing threats posed by the US.