U.N. approves tougher North Korea sanctions

People seated around circular table (© AP Images)
The United Nations Security Council votes to pass a new sanctions resolution against North Korea. (© AP Images)

The U.N. Security Council has unanimously approved new sanctions on North Korea in response to the nation’s sixth nuclear test on September 3.

“Today, we are saying the world will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea, and today the Security Council is saying that if the North Korean regime does not halt its nuclear program, we will act to stop it ourselves,” U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said following the vote on September 11.

The resolution bans North Korea from importing all natural gas liquids and condensates. It also bans all textile exports and prohibits any country from authorizing new work permits for North Korean workers — two key sources of hard currency for the northeast Asian nation.

It caps Pyongyang’s imports of crude oil at the level of the last 12 months, and it limits the import of refined petroleum products to 2 million barrels a year.

Nikki Haley seated at desk with microphone (© AP Images)
The new sanctions “give us a much better chance to halt the regime’s ability to fuel and finance its nuclear and missile programs,” Haley said. (© AP Images)

Other nations have joined the U.S. in condemning North Korea’s nuclear activity. Chinese ambassador to the U.N. Liu Jieyi said, “China is consistently committed to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”

On a visit to Seoul, South Korea, Egypt’s defense minister announced that his country has severed military ties to North Korea.

Prior to the the U.N. vote, Mexico expelled North Korea’s ambassador in “absolute rejection” of North Korea’s recent nuclear activity. Similarly, Peru’s foreign affairs minister gave North Korea’s ambassador five days to leave the country, insisting on “strict compliance” with the Security Council’s resolutions.

“We are done trying to prod the regime to do the right thing,” Haley said. “We are now trying to stop it from having the ability to do the wrong thing.”

This article draws on reports from the Associated Press.