Time: 6:44 p.m. CEST
The White House commented on November 30 the decision by the United Nations to impose more sanctions on North Korea. Press secretary Josh Earnests expressed the expectations that the sanctions would make change in behavior. Earlier, the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday unanimously passed a tough, loophole-closing resolution, written by the U.S. and China, that severely tightens sanctions on North Korea and takes aim at its coal exports – the principal source of revenue for the cash-starved regime of Kim Jong Un, cbsnews.com reports.
The 17-page resolution refers to the “gravest concern” caused by the nuclear test conducted by North Korea on Sept. 9, a test that was the country’s most powerful detonation to date. The goal of Wednesday’s resolution was to convince Pyongyang to return to the negotiating table in order to agree to verifiable denuclearization.
According to the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics, China produced 3.7 billion metric tons of coal in 2015 and is on track to produce the same or more in 2016, so the loss of North Korean imports will be less than one-half of 1 percent of what China produces.
The resolution has several provisions that Security Council members hope will bring North Korea to talks:
- Imposes a binding cap, cutting coal exports by 62 percent
- Bans the export of metals such as copper, nickel, silver and zinc
- Imposes restrictions on access to the international financial system
- Designates 11 government officials and 10 entities for targeted sanctions
- Restricts diplomats from smuggling illicit items
- Prohibits the sale of new vessels and helicopters to North Korea
- Clarifies cargo inspection obligations
CBSnews.com says, “U.N. diplomats are hoping that the new resolution will bring Pyongyang to the bargaining table. U.K. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said last week that the Security Council has been negotiating since the September test.”