National Security Desk / September 12, 2017

Unanimous: New Sanctions Against North Korea

The Kim regime is pushed harder than ever to give up its nuclear weapons development.

The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously Monday to impose new restrictive sanctions against North Korea. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley stated, “Today we are saying the world will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea.” Haley continued, “We are not looking for war. North Korea has not yet passed the point of no return.”

This latest round of sanctions is the most restrictive to date, covering some 90% of North Korea’s exports. Energy imports to the rogue country are significantly reduced — oil imports by 30%, capped at four million barrels annually, while natural gas imports are banned entirely. There will also be an embargo placed on all of the hermit nation’s textile trade, accounting for some $760 million in revenue last year.

It’s significant to note that this resolution was unanimously agreed upon. Both China and Russia, by far Kim Jong Un’s largest trade partners, are concerned enough about his ongoing illegal missile and nuclear weapon development programs to side with the U.S. in seeking to stop him. Thus far China has been happy to leverage Kim’s aggressive behavior as an opportunity for covering over its own regional power grab, as well as for tipping the scales of trade with the U.S. in its own favor. Russia and China have repeatedly called for the U.S. to dismantle the missile defense system it set up in South Korea known as THAAD, which Haley called “insulting” for their false moral equivalence between the U.S. and North Korea.

But these latest sanctions, and the unanimity of the vote, should go a long way in further pressuring and isolating the rogue nation from the rest of the world, while encouraging other nations in the region. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that the resolution “raises the pressure on North Korea to an unprecedented new level and expresses the clear will of the international community that we must change the policies of North Korea.”

One thing is for certain: Donald Trump is doing everything in his power to reel in the fat tyrant, short of declaring war. We hope it doesn’t come to that.

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