U.S.-Drafted U.N. Resolution Looks to Impose Oil Embargo on North Korea

The UN Security Council voted unanimously to condemn North Korea's latest missile test, but with no new sanctions resolution imminent the US may take unilateral steps
AFP/KENA BETANCUR

UNITED NATIONS—The U.S. is circulating a draft resolution at the U.N. Security Council that would slap a broad range of tough measures on North Korea, including an oil embargo—the latest measures the U.S. has pushed to try and stop the rogue regime from its military escalations.

The resolution, a copy of which was obtained by Breitbart News, would impose an oil embargo on the country, as well as banning the country from exporting textiles—a key industry for the hermit country. It also removes an exemption for shipments of coal via the port of Rajin. Reuters reports that this port is commonly used to import coal from Russia.

In August, the Security Council hit the regime with sanctions on its coal, iron, iron ore, lead and lead ore, and seafood. While it was hailed as the toughest set of sanctions yet, it has not stopped North Korean aggression.

The new resolution comes in response to actions North Korea took last week, during which it launched a missile over Japan and also tested a hydrogen bomb. At an emergency session of the Security Council Monday, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley called on the Council to do more.

“Enough is enough,” she said. “We have taken an incremental approach, and despite best of intentions, it has not worked.”

The resolution being circulated also includes the addition of more names to an existing asset freeze—that would also include Kim Jong Un and the entire North Korean government. It would also impose a full ban on the hiring of North Korean laborers abroad.

In a perhaps unexpected move, the resolution would allow states, including the U.S., to stop and inspect North Korean ships on the high seas, as long as they were designated as such by a U.N. committee.

The United Kingdom came out in favor of the draft resolution Thursday, and other nations—including Japan, France, Sweden and Uruguay—have expressed their openness to tougher measures to crack down on North Korean escalation.

A spokesman for Haley said that the U.S. was looking for the “strongest response possible” and that they expect members to support that. He also said that a vote was still scheduled for Monday.

However, with all resolutions on North Korea, the question will come down to whether China and Russia are on board. Both countries hold a veto and have expressed frostiness to any more sanctions. Russian Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya, in particular, was lukewarm on future sanctions on Monday and told reporters that multiple sanctions resolutions had so far not worked.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has come out against an oil embargo, saying it would hurt ordinary North Koreans by disrupting hospitals and other services.

“Without political and diplomatic tools, it is impossible to make headway in the current situation; to be more precise, it is impossible,” Putin said Wednesday in a news conference, according to the New York Times.

Both countries have called for the Security Council to move away from sanctions, and instead follow a Russo-Chinese roadmap. That roadmap includes a greater emphasis on negotiations, as well as a “freeze-for-freeze” in which the North Koreans will stop launches in exchange for a de-escalation of military maneuvers in the region by South Korea and the U.S.

On Monday, Haley dismissed such a plan as “insulting.”

“When a rogue regime has a nuclear weapon and an ICBM pointed at you you do not take steps to lower your guard,” Haley said. “No one would do that. We certainly won’t.”

Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter:  @AdamShawNY

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