A U.N. Security Council vote on the toughest sanctions on North Korea in two decades has been postponed until Wednesday morning at Russia’s request, the United States and France said Tuesday. The draft also prohibits providing training to North Korean nationals in fields such as aerospace engineering and advanced computer simulation.
It would require states to close existing financial activities in North Korea if there are reasonable grounds to believe those services could contribute to North Korea´s nuclear or missile programs.
The resolution would add 16 individuals and 12 entities to the United Nations sanctions blacklist including North Korea’s NADA space agency and its intelligence agency, the Reconnaissance General Bureau.
The previous resolutions were adopted after the North’s first nuclear test in 2006, its second nuclear test in 2009, its long-range rocket launch in late 2012 and its third nuclear test in early 2013.
This includes people based outside North Korea and involved in the country´s illicit programs, such as representatives in Iran and Syria of Korea Mining Developing Trading Corp, Pyongyang´s primary arms dealer, and representatives of Tanchon Commercial Bank in Vietnam and Syria. The sanctions would reportedly ban more luxury goods going into North Korea.
In January, Pyongyang claimed to have successfully tested a hydrogen bomb in its fourth nuclear test.
Both tests are banned under a series of United Nations resolutions that condemn North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs as a threat to world peace and security.
In addition, the resolution also calls for banning jet and rocket fuel supplies to the North, and grounding North Korean flights suspected of carrying contraband, and denying suspicious vessels carrying illicit items access to ports.
In a signed letter broadcast on state-run media, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wrote that he wanted to ring in the new year with, quite literally, a bang. It also reaffirms the council’s decisions that the North abandon all nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, and its ballistic missile program.
“The United States, South Korea and Japan have stopped outsourcing to China their policy on North Korea”, said Roberta Cohen, an expert on North Korea at the Brookings Institution.
South Korea kicked off its three-day inspection of airports, harbors and other key facilities on Wednesday to check readiness to counter any North Korean terrorist attack at the public facilities, the military said.