North Korea Tuesday condemned “vicious” new UN sanctions imposed over its sixth and largest nuclear test, warning it would make the US “suffer the greatest pain” it has ever experienced.
The new sanctions imposed unanimously by the UN Security Council Monday ban North Korean textile exports and restrict shipments of oil products.
The resolution, passed after Washington toned down its original proposals to secure backing from China and Russia, came just one month after the council banned exports of coal, lead and seafood in response to the North’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
North Korea Tuesday categorically rejected the new measures, with UN ambassador Han Tae-Song saying in Geneva that the US had “fabricated the most vicious sanction resolution” and warning of retaliation.
“The forthcoming measures by DPRK (North Korea) will make the US suffer the greatest pain it has ever experienced in its history,” he told a disarmament conference in the Swiss city.
US ambassador Nikki Haley said Monday at the UN the tough new measures were a message to Pyongyang that “the world will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea”. But she also held out the prospect of a peaceful resolution to the crisis.
“We are not looking for war. The North Korean regime has not yet passed the point of no return,” Haley told the Security Council, adding: “If North Korea continues its dangerous path, we will continue with further pressure. The choice is theirs.”
During tough negotiations, the United States dropped initial demands for a full oil embargo and a freeze on the foreign assets of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.
The resolution instead bans trade in textiles, cuts off natural gas shipments to North Korea, places a ceiling on deliveries of refined oil products and caps crude oil shipments at current levels.
It bars countries from issuing new work permits to North Korean laborers sent abroad — there are some 93,000, providing Kim’s regime with a source of revenue to develop its missile and nuclear programs, according to a US official familiar with the negotiations.
Under the measure, countries are authorized to inspect ships suspected of carrying banned North Korean cargo but must first seek the consent of the flag-state.
Joint ventures will be banned and the names of senior North Korean official and three entities were added to a UN sanctions blacklist that provides for an assets freeze and a global travel ban.
It was the eighth series of sanctions imposed on North Korea since it first tested a nuclear device in 2006.