US unveils tougher new UN sanctions on North Korea, vote due Saturday

This handout photo taken on July 29, 2017 and provided by South Korean Defence Ministry in Seoul shows US Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) firing a missile into the East Sea from an undisclosed location on South Korea’s east coast during a South Korea-US joint missile drill aimed to counter North Korea‚Äôs ICBM test. North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un said Pyongyang’s latest test of an intercontinental ballistic missile confirmed all the US mainland was within striking range, state media reported on July 29.str / South Korean Defence Ministry / AFP

The United States on Friday presented to the UN Security Council a draft resolution toughening sanctions on North Korea, aiming to deprive Pyongyang of $1 billion in export revenue, a council diplomat said.

The council is expected to vote on Saturday on the measures that include a ban on exports of coal, iron and iron ore, lead and seafood by the cash-starved state.

The United States has been negotiating the proposed new measures with China, North Korea’s main trading partner and ally, since Pyongyang launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile on July 4.

A second launch on July 28 further raised alarm about Pyongyang’s drive to develop a missile capable of hitting the US mainland.

The ban on exports could deprive the Pyongyang regime of $1 billion in annual revenue, roughly a third of its foreign currency earnings, according to a diplomat familiar with the negotiations.

The draft text would also prevent North Korea from sending additional workers abroad, prohibit all new joint ventures and ban new investment in the current joint companies.

The diplomat indicated that China and Russia were prepared to support the draft resolution, which would be the seventh set of UN sanctions imposed on North Korea since it first carried out a nuclear test in 2006.

The proposed resolution would add North Korea’s Foreign Trade Bank, which manages foreign exchange, to a UN sanctions blacklist that imposes an assets freeze.

It would also tighten trade restrictions on technology to prevent North Korea from acquiring items that could be used for its military programs.

North Korean vessels that are caught violating UN resolutions would be banned from entering ports in all countries, under the proposed measure.

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