The United Nations has unanimously approved on Wednesday new severe sanctions on North Korea, the toughest for the country in more than 20 years. The UN Security Council approved the plan with the single goal of stopping the nation’s foundlings for nuclear and ballistic programs.

After weeks of negotiations by American and Chinese officials, the 15-member UN Security Council approved a draft resolution that intends to inspect all cargo going in and out of the country as to ban all weapons trade. The plan also bans the sale of valuable minerals by Pyongyang and prohibits the sale or supply of jet fuel to the nation.

Photo: Brendan McDermid/Reuters
Photo: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

The resolution also requires countries to expel North Korean diplomats accused of illicit activities. It prohibits North Korea from sending martial arts experts to train police officers in foreign countries. The list of banned goods was extended to include luxury watches, Jet Skis and snowmobiles worth more than $2,000.

These strict measures come in response to a recent nuclear test and rocket launch that is widely thought to have violated UN resolutions on North Korea’s military activities.

“Today, the international community, speaking with one voice, has sent Pyongyang a simple message: North Korea must abandon these dangerous programs and choose a better path for its people,” President Obama said in a statement.

China’s Ambassador called for a return to dialogue

After months of negotiation between The United States and China, The Asian country finally agreed to support the tough measures against its close ally. But Liu Jieyi, China’s ambassador reiterated Beijing’s concerns about the possible deployment of an advanced U.S. missile system in South Korea.

Jieyi took the opportunity to call for a return to dialogue saying the measures took against North Korea should be taken a new starting point and a paving stone for a political settlement of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula.

There hasn’t been any official comment from the country yet in respond to the severe sanctions impose against it.

Source: The New York Times