As expected the United Nations sanctions in response to North Korea’s nuclear test have been watered down by the Russians and the Chinese. The cuts in oil imports and ban on textile exports will inconvenience the Kim regime, but I see nothing in these sanctions that will be a game changer in regards to changing the current status quo on the peninsula which is what the Chinese and Russians want to maintain:
The UN Security Council on Monday unanimously adopted new sanctions against North Korea following its sixth nuclear test, imposing a cap on exports of crude oil to the country, though it fell short of a complete ban.
The 15-member council based in New York approved Resolution 2375, which imposes a cap on the supply, sales or transfer of crude oil to North Korea to the level of the past 12 months, some 4 million barrels, and limits exports of refined petroleum products to the country to 2 million barrels a year. It also bans the sale of condensates and natural gas liquids to the North.
However, the latest resolution fell short of the complete oil embargo called for in an earlier U.S.-drafted resolution, which would have needed the support of veto-wielding members China and Russia.
The resolution, though considered a watered-down version of the U.S. draft, will reduce oil provided to North Korea by around 30 percent, according to the U.S. mission to the United Nations, and cut off over 55 percent of refined petroleum products going to the country. China is the largest supplier of crude oil to the North.
It also includes a ban on North Korean textile exports, which was the country’s second largest export category in 2016 after coal and other minerals, and is expected to reduce its revenues by up to $800 million.
The latest resolution does not include North Korean leader Kim Jong-un or his sister on its blacklist, as initially proposed. [Joong Ang Ilbo]
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