Call for UN vote on tougher sanctions on North Korea

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The United States will call for a vote in the UN Security Council to toughen sanctions against North Korea, a senior US official said on Wednesday after Pyongyang launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he expected the vote to take place “within the next few days” on a draft decision that would specifically restrict oil imports to the isolated country. However, diplomatic sources noted that Russia and China may veto.

The US official stressed that the US decision in 2017 – unanimously – provided for the imposition of additional sanctions against North Korea in the event of an ICBM launch.

“It was one of the provisions of that decision. “That is exactly what happened and that is why we believe it is time to take action,” he said.

The United States holds the presidency of the UN Security Council in May.

The US official declined to comment on the possible veto by Moscow and Russia, but said that “we believe that this decision will be strongly supported”, as “this is an issue of great importance for us, obviously, and for our allies, Japan and South Korea. “

A draft decision proposes a reduction from the current four million barrels of oil to three million the amount that North Korea can import on an annual basis for civilian uses.

The plan also envisions reducing imports of refined petroleum products from 500,000 to 375,000 barrels.

He also suggested imposing sanctions on North Korean exports, including exports of watches and fossil fuels.

North Korea fired three rockets in one hour on Wednesday, possibly the largest ICBM it has ever developed, the Hwasong-17, hours after US President Joe Biden wrapped up his tour of Asia, aimed specifically at disrupting US support for South Korea and Japan to address the threat posed by Pyongyang’s armaments programs.

Source: ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ

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