Our Bureau
09:38 AM, August 7, 2017
North Korea to Face Severe Economic Turmoil Following Fresh UN Sanctions
UN Security Council (Image for representation)

The UN Security Council resolution to block a third of North Korea’s exports in the form of coal, mineral and manpower will dry up its main source of its foreign exchange and starve most of its labor-intensive industries.

"Through the resolution, the Council (UN Security Council) had taken a strong and united step, increasing the penalty of that country’s ballistic missile activity to a whole new level.  The text represented the single largest package of economic sanctions ever leveled at the regime.  The price it would pay would be one third of its exports and hard currency,” Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the United Nations said in a statement Saturday.

The 15-nation Security Council decided that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea shall not supply, sell or transfer coal, iron, iron ore, seafood, lead and lead ore to other countries.

Responding to the United Nations' new sanctions imposed on Pyongyang for its nuclear and missile programs, North Korea said Monday that it will launch “thousands-fold” revenge against the US. Further, the isolated country also pledged to retaliate and make "the US pay a price".

The sanctions, unanimously passed by the UN on Saturday, were a "violent violation of our sovereignty," the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

However none of the countries supporting the resolution made any mention of the human cost inflicted upon the already impoverished nation. The blanket targeting of whole industrial sectors, rather than individuals and commercial entities as before, amounts to collective punishment for the Pyongyang regime's pursuit of a ballistic missile program.

The Trump administration which is the main architect behind the UN resolution, has estimated that the fresh sanctions will cost North Korea US$1 billion of a total exports of $3 billion a year. According to World Bank figures, North Korea had an estimated 16 million workers in 2016. The sanctions could render several million workers unemployed if Pyongyang is unable to export its coal, minerals and sea food.

The Council decided that States shall prohibit the opening of new joint ventures or cooperative entities with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea entities and individuals, or expand existing joint ventures through additional investments.

Also through the resolution, the Council named nine individuals and four entities to be subject to a travel ban and asset freeze already in place, as well as to request that the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) issue special notices with respect to designated individuals.

Japan’s delegate said the sheer number and frequency of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile tests “show how unprecedented and unacceptable these provocations are”.  Not only was the quantity outrageous, but the qualitative advancements were alarming.  Noting that today’s resolution would reduce the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s revenue by approximately $1 billion, he said all Member States must demonstrate renewed commitment to implement the Council’s decisions.

The Russian Federation’s representative, said progress would be difficult so long as it perceived a direct threat to its security.  Emphasizing that military misadventures risked creating a disaster, he said sanctions must be a tool for engaging Pyongyang in constructive talks rather than to seek the country’s economic asphyxiation.

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