UN Security Council to vote on further North Korea sanctions

New York: The UN Security Council is set to vote on a US-Chinese resolution that would dramatically expand existing UN sanctions on Pyongyang.

The vote on the proposal, a response to North Korea’s January 6 nuclear test, has been pushed back to Wednesday in New York after being scheduled for Tuesday because the Security Council “Needs more time to review the text”. A vote was expected to come on Wednesday morning (AEDT).

After nearly two months of bilateral negotiations, which at one point involved US President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart, China agreed to support the unusually tough measures intended to persuade North Korea to abandon its atomic weapons program.

The UN is looking to enforce additional sanctions on North Korea.The UN is looking to enforce additional sanctions on North Korea. Photo: AP

Last week, the United States presented the 15-nation council with the draft resolution that would significantly tighten restrictions after North Korea’s nuclear test and rocket launch, and create what it described as the toughest UN sanctions regime in two decades.

The draft that Reuters saw would require UN member states to conduct mandatory inspections of all cargo passing through their territory to or from North Korea to look for illicit goods.

Previously states only had to do this if they had reasonable grounds to believe there was illicit cargo.

The list of explicitly banned luxury goods will be expanded to include luxury watches, aquatic recreational vehicles, snowmobiles worth more than $2800, lead crystal items and recreational sports equipment.

The proposal would close a gap in the UN arms embargo on Pyongyang by banning all weapons imports and exports.

There would also be an unprecedented ban on the transfer to North Korea of any item that could directly contribute to the operational capabilities of its armed forces, such as trucks that could be modified for military purposes.

Other proposed measures include blacklisting 16 North Korean individuals and 12 entities, including the National Aerospace Development Agency, the body responsible for February’s rocket launch.