A draft resolution under review at the United Nations Security Council includes a plan to expand asset freezes and trade embargoes targeting North Korea. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
SEOUL, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- A draft resolution under review at the United Nations Security Council includes a plan to expand asset freezes and trade embargoes targeting North Korea.
The Security Council plans to work with countries including the United States to pass a resolution on additional sanctions by mid-January, the Nikkei Asian Review reported.
"The U.S. has drafted a proposal and begun talks with other countries concerned," a Japanese Foreign Ministry official said Friday. "We communicated the Japanese position to the [United States] before the draft was created."
Under existing Security Council resolutions, 13 North Korea individuals are already under sanctions for involvement in nuclear weapons and missile development, and 29 North Korea organizations are the target of asset freezes, Yonhap reported.
North Korea already is under multiple U.N. and U.S. sanctions, but Pyongyang managed to import $2.09 billion worth of luxury merchandise into the country despite the ban.
Banned exports to North Korea under U.N. sanctions include two items in the nuclear category, five items in the missile category, and one item in the chemical weapons class. The ban currently covers precious jewels, luxury automobiles and yachts – items sought after by North Korea's well-heeled elite.
North Korea deals with serious restrictions in earning foreign currency for the regime, but Pyongyang has managed to make its weapons programs a top priority.
South Korean television network SBS reported Saturday local time North Korea released a new video of a submarine-launched ballistic missile.
KCNA footage possibly filmed in late December showed a SLBM soaring vertically after being ejected from a submerged vessel near the eastern coast of the Korean peninsula.