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UN slaps sanctions on N. Korea

United Nations, October 14
After five days of intense negotiations, the United Nations Security Council today unanimously imposed non-military sanctions on North Korea to punish it for testing a nuclear device on Monday and warned it against repeating such an act in future.

The text of the resolution prepared by the United States underwent major changes to accommodate the concerns of China and Russia but ultimately all 15 members of the Council sponsored the resolution and adopted it in a rare Saturday session, to send a strong message to Pyongyang.

Describing the North Korean test as "threat to international peace and security," the Council banned supply of heavy military equipment including battle tanks, armored vehicles, combat aircraft, warships, missiles or missiles system as also any material which helps the secretive country in the development of its weapons of mass destruction.

Welcoming the united and strong message sent by the Council, American Ambassador John Bolton, who piloted the resolution in the Council, threatened to come to the world body again seeking further measures if North Korea continued on it current path.

The US, which drafted the resolution, diluted it several times to accommodate China and Russia and the final product is not as harsh as Washington wanted.

It is under chapter 7, which allows enforcement but invokes article 41, which does not allow the use of military force.

It implies that another resolution would be needed if force is to be used at some stage, diplomats said.

The Council ambassadors, speaking after the vote, said their aim was to have a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.

The resolution allows the USA to inspect “as necessary” the cargo emanating from North Korea or going to it to ensure no prohibited materials were being exported or imported.

The original draft had provided for inspection of all cargo which would have meant virtual naval embargo, but the provision was modified.

China said it still has concerns about the provision and urged USA to use caution and prudence when deciding to inspect the cargo to avoid confrontation.

A sanctions committee comprising all members of the Security Council is being set up which will monitor the embargo and draw up the lists of prohibited materials. The whole exercise could take about two weeks.

The council also asked all states to freeze funds, other financial assets and economic resources of the persons or entities which have any connection with North Korea’s nuclear or missile programmes. The sanctions will identify the persons and the entities. To accommodate Russia and China, the resolution says that actions be taken only within the country’s legal framework.

The resolution also bans states and their nationals from providing training or assistance in the prohibited areas.

On the inspection provision, the resolution provides for member states to take, in accordance with their national authorities and legislations, and consistent with the international law, cooperative action including through inspection of the cargo to and from North Korea as necessary to ensure that it does not include prohibited actions. — PTI

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