As 2017 draws to a close, the United Nations Security Council decided to issue another round of sanctions against North Korea on Friday for launching a ballistic missile on November 28th at a time when the isolated Korean country remains defiant about pursuing a pathway to develop their nuclear and ballistic missile program despite widening international sanctions.
Using strongest language, the U.N. condemned the November 28th ballistic missile launch and added further sanctions on North Korea’s fuel imports and trade industry which had already been slapped with sanctions following its 6th nuclear test in 2017 and several other ballistic missile tests.
On Friday the United Nations adopted UN Resolution 2397 which limits the country’s imports of refined petroleum to 500,000 barrels for 12 months starting January 1, 2018 with crude oil capped at the current levels for that period.
The Council authorized Member States “to seize, inspect, freeze and impound any vessel in their territorial waters found to be illicitly providing oil to North Korea through ship to ship transfers, or smuggling coal and other prohibited commodities from the country.”
The Council placed a travel ban on 16 North Korean banking officials and banned the export of several products including food products, machinery, electrical equipment, earth and stones, wood and vessels, industrial equipment, machinery, transportation vehicles, and industrial metals to it.
Additional tests of long range ballistic missiles or nuclear weapons by North Korea would automatically lead to more restrictions on its import of petroleum.
Trump’s National Security Strategy And North Korea
Last week, the White House released a National Security Strategy that identified North Korea as one of the countries in the world that has the capability to kill millions of Americans with nuclear weapons.
The security strategy acknowledged that North Korea is also pursuing chemical and biological weapons which could be delivered by ballistic missile.
One of the priority actions for the U.S. regarding North Korea includes deploying a layered missile defense system focused on North Korea to defend the homeland against missile attacks.
The National Security Strategy emphasized that U.S. allies are critical to responding to mutual threats such as North Korea and more provocations from North Korea will lead to a more coordinated response from neighboring countries and the United States to strengthen security bonds and to take additional measures to protect themselves.
“Continued provocations by North Korea will prompt neighboring countries and the United States to further strengthen security bonds and to take additional measures to protect themselves. And a nuclear armed North Korea could lead to the proliferation of the world’s most destructive weapons across the Indo-Pacific region and beyond.”
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