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UN Security Council imposes severe sanctions on North Korea

13 September 2017

China and Russian Federation, which can veto any United Nations measures, have expressed skepticism that tough sanctions will stop North Korea's nuclear push and have pushed for peace talks.

China and Russian Federation both share the view that Kim Jong-un won't give up North Korea's nuclear weapons programme without security guarantees.

The unanimously passed resolution will impose the latest in a string of sanctions.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un hosted a grand celebration on the successful test of the country's sixth and strongest nuclear bomb, saying the test is a "great victory" and lauded the country's nuclear scientists and technicians.

Specifically, this resolution will result in a 30% decrease in total oil imports by cutting off over 55% of refined petroleum products going to North Korea, the U.S. official told CNN.

The new resolution ends natural gas shipments to North Korea, caps crude oil shipments at their current levels, and puts a ceiling on refined oil products such as petrol and diesel.

The proposal included a ban on oil and textile exports to North Korea and prohibited North Korean citizens from working overseas.

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North Korean hackers have previously targeted South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges, stealing bitcoin worth $88,000 (at the time) between 2013 and 2015, according to Yonhap News, which cited South Korean cybersecurity firm Hauri.

A halt to oil exports is far from certain.

They come just over a month after the passage of UNSC resolution 2371 against North Korea, which targeted the country's trade in coal, iron, lead and seafood, potentially reducing the value of the DPRK's exports by a third.

It also froze the assets of three government agencies, including a military one.

The ministry statement said the decision was made given North Korea's "repeated and flagrant violation" of previous U.N. Security Council resolutions, which "constituted a serious and unacceptable threat to worldwide peace and security, as well as stability in northeast Asia and in the world".

It will lose $1.3 billion in annual revenues, she added.

Merkel has spoken to leaders including Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about North Korea this week.

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Although only 37 percent overall fear an imminent outbreak of war, the rate is 42 percent among those in their 20s, who have tended to be the most friendly to North Korea.

The Council gives countries the right to inspect ships with the consent of the countries where the ships are registered, "if they have information that provides reasonable grounds to believe that the cargo of such vessels contains items the supply, sale, transfer or export of which is prohibited".

In a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency on Monday, North Korea's foreign ministry warned the USA that if it "did rig up the illegal and unlawful "resolution" on harsher sanctions, the DPRK shall make absolutely sure that the U.S. pays a due price".

Even though China had earlier hinted that it is likely to support tougher sanctions, diplomats said they would expect resistance from Beijing and Moscow.

However, this rule would not apply to "written contracts finalised prior to the adoption of this resolution" provided that states notify the committee by December 15 of the number of North Koreans subject to these contracts and the anticipated date of termination of these contracts.

Washington and its allies have said there is a growing urgency for China, North Korea's top ally and trading partner, to apply more pressure on its already isolated neighbor to get it to back down on its nuclear weapons and missiles programs. The wages of workers sent overseas provide foreign currency for the Pyongyang government.

There was new political language in the resolution urging "further work to reduce tensions so as to advance the prospects for a comprehensive settlement".

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UN Security Council imposes severe sanctions on North Korea