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U.N. Security Council passes sanctions on North Korea

The resolution calls for comprehensive inspections of all cargo leaving and heading for North Korea.
By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |   Updated March 2, 2016 at 1:20 PM
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NEW YORK, March 2 (UPI) -- The United Nations Security Council adopted sweeping sanctions against North Korea on Wednesday, introducing the toughest measures against Pyongyang in a bid to bring an end to its controversial nuclear weapons development.

The vote was unanimous, adopted by the council 15-0.

The sanctions resolution has taken two months to pass. Disagreement over the details of the embargo, as well as an initial lack of willingness to take stern measures against North Korea by China and Russia had delayed the bill.

But the resolution has been under development for quite some time. U.S. officials began a draft resolution about three years ago after the North's third nuclear test.

The resolution calls for comprehensive inspections of all cargo leaving and heading for North Korea. It bans all weapons trade with Pyongyang and has increased the number of blacklisted individuals and entities facing restrictions on trade.

In a telephone interview with The Washington Post, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power said, "Irrespective of whether [the North Koreans] change their calculus tomorrow, it's going to be a lot harder for them to access the technology, the know-how and the money they've used to fuel their nuclear program."

The resolution would also target non-weapons trade, and includes a ban on North Korean imports of luxury watches, Jet Skis and snowmobiles valued at more than $2,000, The New York Times reported.

Mineral exports, a substantial source of revenue for Pyongyang, are to be banned, as well. North Korean natural resources, including gold, iron ore and titanium, have raised foreign currency for the regime, but the sanctions are to ban any trade that has been ongoing with economic partners China and Russia.

Other provisions, however, appear to be unconnected to Pyongyang's arms development but were in the bill, including a ban on Pyongyang from sending taekwondo instructors to train foreign police forces.

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