The UN Security Council on 2 June 2017 unanimously passed a resolution expanding targeted sanctions against North Korea after it launched its ninth ballistic missile of the year.
The resolution is the first such one that was agreed upon by both the United States and N Korea’s only major ally-China since President Donald Trump took to office.
Speaking to the council after the vote, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley stated that though the US will continue to seek a peaceful, diplomatic resolution to this situation, it is also prepared to counteract North Korean aggression through other means, if necessary.
• The new resolution has condemned North Korea’s continued proliferation of its nuclear and ballistic program.
• It has extended a global travel ban and asset freeze on senior officials, core military apparatus as well as the state entities that are directly responsible for North Korea’s banned nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
• The resolution, adopted unanimously by the 15-member council, also included state officials and banks.
• Sanctions have been applied on four entities including Koryo Bank and Strategic Rocket Force of the Korean People’s Army and 14 other people including the head of North Korea’s overseas spying operations.
• The sanctions are aimed at further restricting North Korea’s ability to finance its illegal activities.
The global travel ban and asset freeze comes after five weeks of negotiations between Washington and Beijing.
Though US military exercises in the Korean peninsula have been controversial in the international community, Nikki Haley urged Security Council members to enforce the new sanctions. She stated that with these new sanctions, the Security Council is sending a clear message to North Korea- stop firing ballistic missiles or face the consequences.
• The U.N. Security Council had first imposed sanctions on Pyongyang over its ballistic missile and nuclear programs in 2006.
• The sanctions are in response to five nuclear tests and two long-range missile launches.
• North Korea has launched several more ballistic missiles since then.
• The US has struggled a lot to slow down these programs as the North Korea has vowed to develop a nuclear -tipped missile capable of hitting the US mainland.
• Several countries like France and Italy have come out in support of the new resolution.
• Veto powered Russia too have backed the measures taken by UN.
• The United States has unilaterally imposed its own sanctions on some of the Russian firms for supporting North Korea’s weapons programs.
Haley stated that they want a negotiated solution but first North Korea must fulfil its basic obligations by stopping all its ballistic missile launches and nuclear weapons testing and taking concrete steps toward getting rid of its nuclear weapons program.