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UN OKs watered-down sanctions against N. Korea

  • The United Nations Security Council votes to pass a new sanctions resolution against North Korea during a meeting at U.N. headquarters, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow) Jason DeCrow

  • United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks after voting to adopt a new sanctions resolution against North Korea during a meeting of the U.N. Security Council at U.N. headquarters, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow) Jason DeCrow

  • China's United Nations Ambassador Liu Jieyi, left, speaks to the United Kingdom's U.N. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft before a vote to adopt a new sanctions resolution against North Korea during a meeting of the U.N. Security Council at U.N. headquarters, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow) Jason DeCrow

  • Members of Korea Freedom Federation beat balloons symbolizing North Korean weapons during a rally to denounce North Korea's nuclear test in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017. North Korea says it will make the United States pay a heavy price if a proposal Washington is backing to impose the toughest sanctions ever on Pyongyang is approved by the U.N. Security Council this week. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon) Ahn Young-joon

  • Members of Korea Freedom Federation shout slogans during a rally to denounce North Korea's nuclear test in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017. North Korea says it will make the United States pay a heavy price if a proposal Washington is backing to impose the toughest sanctions ever on Pyongyang is approved by the U.N. Security Council this week. The signs read " We denounced North Korea's nuclear test". (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon) Ahn Young-joon

  • A man watches a television screen showing U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a news program at the Seoul Train Station in Seoul, South Korea in August. AP File PHoto



Associated Press
Monday, September 11, 2017

UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. Security Council on Monday unanimously approved new sanctions on North Korea in a watered-down resolution that eliminated a ban on all oil imports and an international asset freeze on the government and leader Kim Jong Un that the Trump administration wanted.

The resolution does ban North Korea from importing all natural gas liquids and condensates. But it caps Pyongyang’s imports of crude oil at the level of the last 12 months, and it limits the import of refined petroleum products to 2 million barrels a year.

It also bans all textile exports and prohibits countries from authorizing new work permits for North Korean workers — two key sources of hard currency for the northeast Asian nation.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley told the council after the vote that “these are by far the strongest measures ever imposed on North Korea ... but we all know these steps only work if all nations implement them completely and aggressively.”

“Today we are saying the world will never accept a nuclear armed North Korea,” she said. “We are done trying to prod the regime to do the right thing” and now are instead taking steps to prevent it “from doing the wrong thing.”

Haley reiterated that the United States does not want war and said “North Korea has not yet passed the point of no return.” She said if Pyongyang gives up its nuclear program and proves it can live in peace, the world will live in peace with it.

The resolution represents a swift response to North Korea’s sixth and strongest nuclear test explosion Sept. 3, which it said was a hydrogen bomb, and to its escalating launches of increasingly sophisticated ballistic missiles that it says can reach the United States.

The text was agreed to after final negotiations between the U.S. and China, the North’s ally and major trading partner. Haley praised the “strong relationship” between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping for enabling the resolution’s adoption.

But its provisions are a significant climb-down from the toughest-ever sanctions that the Trump administration proposed in the initial draft resolution it circulated last Tuesday, especially on oil, where a complete ban could have crippled North Korea’s economy.

The cap on the import of petroleum products could have an impact but North Korea will still be able to import the same amount of crude oil that it has this year.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, China supplies most of North Korea’s crude oil imports, which a U.S. official put at 4 million barrels a year. The agency cited U.N. customs data showing that China reported sending 6,000 barrels a day of oil products to North Korea, which it said is mostly gasoline and diesel fuel vital to the country’s agriculture, transportation and military sectors.