US presents tougher new sanctions on North Korea at UN Security Council

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A proposed new United Nations sanctions resolution would ban North Korea from exporting coal, iron, lead and seafood worth a total of about $1 billion, a major cut to its export earnings, which totaled only $3 billion a year ago, a Security Council diplomat said Friday.

"The Trump administration should issue new sanctions against China at the same time the new resolution is adopted as Beijing is still violating U.S. law by allowing its companies, individuals, and banks to facilitate North Korea's sanctions evasion", said Anthony Ruggiero, a Foundation for Defense of Democracies senior fellow and former U.S. Treasury official.

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

But the recent progress between Beijing and the United States may face opposition from Moscow, which has been receiving updates on the progress of the draft resolution from China, and which denies that North Korea's latest launches were ICBMs, contrary to Washington and Seoul's military assessments as well as Pyongyang's own claims.

Some diplomats said the United States could give the draft resolution to all 15 council members as early as Thursday. He added that sanctions should include conditions for their removal and not be used to overthrow "unwanted regimes". Diplomats say China and Russian Federation only view a test of a long-range missile or a nuclear weapon as a trigger for further possible United Nations sanctions.

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"We have high confidence that they will be on board with this resolution", said the diplomat, who briefed reporters on the contents of the draft.

"(The draft) appears to reflect a compromise between the US and China in several areas", Bonnie Glaser, senior adviser for Asia at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said.

If Russia does, indeed, decide to throw a wrench in this process it would be an aberration to how diplomacy on North Korea generally proceeds at the Security Council.

In early July, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley told the Security Council that if it was united, the global community could cut off major sources of hard currency to North Korea, restrict oil to its military and weapons programs, increase air and maritime restrictions, and hold senior officials accountable.

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