UNITED NATIONS: The United States presented a draft UN Security Council resolution Thursday that would impose new sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, diplomats said.
The text—drafted in agreement with China, traditionally Pyongyang’s sole diplomatic and military ally—was expected to be submitted to a Council vote on Friday.
The text of the draft, a copy of which Agence France-Presse obtained, again condemns “in the strongest terms” Pyongyang’s series of nuclear and ballistic missile tests.
The Council calls on the North to “abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner,” and end all ballistic missile test launches.
An annex to the resolution adds to an already lengthy blacklist another 14 individuals and four entities accused of contributing to the missile programs whose assets would be frozen and who would face a travel ban.
Those listed are bank and corporate executives involved in military financing, or officials in North Korea’s Workers’ Party.
The first on the list, Cho Il-U, is described as the man “believed to be in charge of overseas espionage operations and foreign intelligence collection” for Kim Jong-Un’s regime.
The entities listed include Koryo Bank, two trading houses linked to North Korea’s military, and the army’s Strategic Rocket Force.
For weeks, the United States has been negotiating with China on how to respond to Pyongyang’s missile tests.
Washington is counting on Beijing to bring the North in line.
“China has agreed to this text… and the American idea is to move rather quickly,” one Council diplomat told Agence France-Presse.
The diplomat added that none of the Council’s five veto-wielding permanent members— Britain, China, France, Russia and the US—have threatened to block the resolution.
The North has carried out two atomic tests and dozens of missile launches since the beginning of last year in its quest to develop a missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the continental United States—something President Donald Trump has vowed “won’t happen.”
The Security Council had threatened to boost sanctions against Pyongyang after one of its May test launches.
The US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said Tuesday that she believed Washington and Beijing could reach a deal on new sanctions by week’s end.
The Security Council adopted two sanctions resolutions last year to ramp up pressure on Pyongyang and deny Kim the hard currency needed to fund his military programs.