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WRAPUP 9-U.N. Security Council unanimously steps up sanctions on North Korea

WRAPUP 9-U.N. Security Council unanimously steps up sanctions on North Korea
From Reuters - September 11, 2017

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations Security Council unanimously stepped up sanctions against North Korea on Monday over the countrys sixth and most powerful nuclear test conducted on Sept. 3, imposing a ban on the countrys textile exports and capping imports of crude oil.

It was the ninth sanctions resolution unanimously adopted by the 15-member council since 2006 over North Koreas ballistic missile and nuclear programs. A tougher initial U.S. draft was weakened to win the support of Pyongyang ally China and Russia.

We dont take pleasure in further strengthening sanctions today. We are not looking for war, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the council after the vote. The North Korean regime has not yet passed the point of no return.

If it agrees to stop its nuclear program, it can reclaim its future ... if North Korea continues its dangerous path, we will continue with further pressure, said Haley, who credited a strong relationship between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping for the successful resolution negotiations.

A week ago Haley called for the strongest possible sanctions, but after several days of negotiations, Washington dropped several measures to win the support of Russia and China, including a bid for an oil embargo and the blacklisting of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the national airline.

Russia had condemned the idea of tightening sanctions on North Korea without any political push to resolve the crisis. Russias U.N. ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, told the Security Council on Monday that Moscow supported the resolution because leaving nuclear tests without a firm reaction would be wrong.

He again raised the Chinese and Russian proposal of a dual suspension of North Koreas nuclear and ballistic missile testing along with U.S. and South Korean military exercises in a bid to kick-start talks. Haley has dismissed it as insulting.

We think its a big mistake to underestimate this Russia, China initiative, Nebenzia said. It remains on the table at the Security Council and we will insist on it being considered.

There was new political language in the resolution urging further work to reduce tensions so as to advance the prospects for a comprehensive settlement.

Chinas U.N. ambassador, Liu Jieyi, called for a resumption of negotiations sooner rather than later. He called on North Korea to take seriously the will of the international community to halt its nuclear and ballistic missile development.

TRYING TO CHANGE PYONGYANGS POLICY

Pyongyang warned the United States on Monday that it would pay a due price for spearheading efforts on U.N. sanctions.

The world will witness how (North Korea) tames the U.S. gangsters by taking a series of actions tougher than they have ever envisaged, the foreign ministry said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said after the council vote that it was important to change North Koreas policy by imposing a higher level of pressure on the country than ever before.

In negotiations on the latest resolution, diplomats said Russia had questioned what leverage the Security Council would have left if North Korea continued to conduct nuclear and missile testing.

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