Toru Hanai | Reuters
People walk past a street monitor showing news of North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile test in Tokyo, Japan, July 4, 2017.
The United Nations Security Council unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea on Saturday that could slash by a third the Asian state’s $3 billion annual export revenue over Pyongyang’s two July intercontinental ballistic missile tests.
The U.S.-drafted resolution bans North Korean exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood. It also prohibits countries from increasing the current numbers of North Korean laborers working abroad, bans new joint ventures with North Korea and any new investment in current joint ventures.
“We should not fool ourselves into thinking we have solved the problem. Not even close. The North Korean threat has not left us, it is rapidly growing more dangerous,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the council.
“Further action is required. The United States is taking and will continue to take prudent defensive measures to protect ourselves and our allies,” she said, adding that Washington would continue annual joint military exercises with South Korea.
North Korea has accused the United States and South Korea of escalating tensions by conducting military drills.
North Korean ally China and Russia both slammed the U.S. deployment of the THAAD anti-missile defense system in South Korea. China called for a halt to the deployment and for any equipment already in place to be dismantled.
“The deployment of the THAAD system will not bring a solution to the issue of (North Korea’s) nuclear testing and missile launches,” China’s U.N. Ambassador Liu Jieyi told the Security Council after the vote.