US softens North Korea resolution ahead of UN vote

2017-09-11 21:57
A South Korean magazine with front cover photos of US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (Ahn Young-joon, AP)

A South Korean magazine with front cover photos of US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (Ahn Young-joon, AP)

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New York - The UN Security Council was scheduled to vote on Monday on a draft resolution imposing new sanctions on North Korea after the United States toned down its demands in a bid to win support from Russia and China.

Washington has led the international drive to punish the rogue state after it detonated its sixth and most powerful nuclear device earlier this month.

The vote will be held at 18:00 (22:00 GMT), the Ethiopian council presidency said.

The United had originally pushed for a strict oil embargo, as well as a freeze on the assets of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

A new draft text circulated late on Sunday maintains an embargo on gas, but would limit sales of oil to 500 000 barrels for three months from October 1 and 2 million barrels from January 1 for a period of 12 months, according to the text obtained by AFP.

Kim spared 

Kim would be spared from a UN blacklist that would have hit him with an assets freeze and a travel ban and punished him directly for the country's military drive.

The proposed resolution, however, would slap a ban on textile exports from North Korea, but drop demands for a full halt to payments of North Korea workers.

It would add the name of North Korean senior official Pak Yong Sik, who helps direct the country's missile industries, to the blacklist along with three other North Korean agencies.

Among other concessions the new text also softens the inspection by force of ships suspected of carrying cargo prohibited by the UN and drops a proposed assets freeze on the state-owned Air Koryo airline.

Britain and France - permanent veto-wielding Security Council members along with the US, China and Russia - have given Washington their strong backing.

It remained unclear whether Russia and China would support the new raft of sanctions.

Washington has dangled the prospect of military action in the North, and threatened to cut economic ties with countries that continue to trade with the it - around 90% of the North's external commerce is with China.

Read more on:    un  |  kim jong-un  |  donald trump  |  us  |  north korea  |  military  |  north korea nuclear programme

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