New UNSC sanctions on N. Korea to target oil supplies

nsnews  NSNEWS ONLINE DESK: The U.N. Security Council was to vote Friday on a U.S.-drafted resolution ramping up sanctions on North Korea by restricting oil supplies vital for Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear programs. The United States presented the draft resolution Thursday following negotiations with China, Pyongyang’s ally, on new punitive measures in response to North Korea’s test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Nov. 28. It would be the third raft of sanctions imposed on North Korea this year and comes as the United States and North Korea are showing no signs they are willing to engage in talks to end the crisis on the Korean Peninsula. Diplomats said they expected the measure to be adopted during the meeting scheduled for 1 p.m. Japan’s Ambassador Koro Bessho, who holds the council presidency, said Japan supports the draft resolution “wholeheartedly” and voiced hope that there will be unanimous support. Building on previous resolutions, the new draft tightens restrictions on crude and refined oil deliveries to North Korea, most of which are supplied by China. The measure would ban the supply of nearly 90 percent of refined oil products to North Korea and order the repatriation of all North Korean nationals working abroad within 12 months, according to the text obtained by AFP. U.S. President Donald Trump asked Chinese President Xi Jinping last month to cut off oil to North Korea, a move that would deal a crippling blow to its desperately struggling economy. Tens of thousands of North Koreans have been sent to Russia and China to earn hard currency for Pyongyang, working in what U.N. rights officials have described as “slave-like conditions.” The draft resolution would cap crude oil supplies to 4 million barrels per year and deliveries of refined petroleum products including diesel and kerosene would be capped at 500,000 barrels for next year.

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