The United Nations Security Council voted Monday to impose tough new sanctions against North Korea, including a gradual oil embargo, at the initiative of Washington, which had to revise its draft resolution after tough negotiations with Beijing and Moscow.
The official position of China and Russia, which have veto power, on a revised and final draft bill proposed by the United States on Sunday evening was not known. The vote is expected to be held around 21:00 GMT.
The first version of the US plan, published on Wednesday, included a “ceiling” on “all points” and aimed at responding to North Korea’s sixth nuclear test on Sept. 3, a diplomat said.
The first was a comprehensive and immediate ban on oil, oil and gas products, the repatriation of North Korean workers (more than 50,000 according to the United Nations), the freezing of the assets of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the import of textiles from the country and the imposition of The sea was exposed on suspicion of transporting cargo banned under UN resolutions.
After four days of tough negotiations with China and Russia, which share a border with North Korea, the United States has had to relax the text so that the oil embargo is “gradually” linked to the development of the North Korean situation, diplomats said.
Initially, London and Paris supported Washington and wanted to prevent the funding and hiring of North Korean workers that would not have deported them to their country.
But Russia, which employs some 35,000 North Koreans, opposed the move during negotiations, a source said. In the latest sanctions resolution issued on August 5, a ceiling was set for the number of workers in the world.
A few hours before the vote, North Korea has clearly expressed its opposition to what would constitute an eighth package of increasingly stringent international sanctions aimed at forcing it to return to the negotiating table over its nuclear and missile programs, which pose a threat to stability in the world.
North Korea warned on Monday it would join the United States “the greatest pain and suffering” if Washington insisted on tougher sanctions in the UN Security Council.
The official Korean News Agency (KCNA) issued a statement to the State Department warning Washington that if it “follows the unjust and unfair decision on severe sanctions, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) will definitely push the United States to pay for it.”
“The next measures to be taken by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea will bring to the United States the greatest pain and suffering that has not been tested in the past,” the statement said.
“The world will see how the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is arming the American guerrillas by taking a series of measures stronger than they imagined,” he said.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday called for more defense in the country. “No one will defend us if we do not have the desire to defend themselves,” he said. He asked Defense Minister Atsunori Onodera to prepare a draft defense plan in the medium term.
Abe, known for his support for expanding military means and reforms in the archipelago, said the Japanese-American alliance must be strengthened to ensure the security of the region. “North Korea must be deterred from repeating its provocative actions,” he said, referring in particular to the joint military exercise between Japan and North Korea.
A week after the latest nuclear test, China on Monday confirmed that the level of radiation in its border areas with North Korea had not recorded any “abnormal activity”.
“A full assessment (of the data) makes it possible to conclude that the North Korean nuclear test has not caused any environmental impact in China,” the Chinese Ministry of Environment said in a brief statement on its official microblogging account. “After eight days of continuous monitoring, “He said.
The observation posts in Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning Province (northeast) and Shandong (east) have collected more than 1,000 samples of water, dust and air.
The nuclear test came weeks after Pyongyang launched two intercontinental ballistic missiles that seemed to make US territory accessible to Korean missiles.
Korea says it needs nuclear weapons to protect itself, but the United States accuses Pyongyang of “begging for war.”