UN Security Council Votes Unanimously To Toughen Sanctions on North Korea

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
March 2, 2016
The United Nations Security Council votes on a resolution during a meeting at U.N. headquarters, March 2, 2016.

Today, the United Nations (UN) Security Council voted, 15-0, to adopt tougher sanctions against North Korea. UN Security Council Resolution 2270 contains the toughest set of sanctions imposed by the Security Council in more than two decades. The resolution is intended to levy strong new sanctions aimed at halting Pyongyang's efforts to advance its weapons of mass destruction programs.

The resolution -- which comes on the heels of North Korea’s January 6 nuclear test and February 7 missile launch --  includes mandatory cargo inspections, sectoral sanctions on North Korean trade in natural resources, and other rigorous provisions unprecedented in the North Korean sanctions regime.

In a statement today, President Obama welcomed the resolution and the international community’s “appropriate response” to the DPRK's recent provocations that “flagrantly” violated multiple Security Council resolutions. He said, “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.”

Secretary Kerry also welcomed today’s resolution and commended the Security Council’s action which he noted reflects “the firm and united resolve of the international community to address Pyongyang’s continued defiance of its international obligations and commitments.” He continued, “Today’s action, and the international consensus it represents, will hold the regime to account for its increasingly provocative behavior and the threat it poses to not only security on the peninsula, but also to the world.”

In remarks to the press following today’s Security Council meeting Ambassador Samantha Power highlighted the chronic suffering of the North Korean people, as a direct result of the North Korean government’s consistent prioritization of its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs over providing for the most basic needs of its own people. She said, “As the resolution that we have adopted today underscores, virtually all of the DPRK’s resources are channeled into its reckless and relentless pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. The North Korean government would rather grow its nuclear weapons program than grow its own children. That is the reality that we are facing.”

United States ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power votes on a resolution during a Security Council meeting at the UN headquarters, March 2, 2016. [AP Photo]

 

Ambassador Power also underscored that our collective security demands that the international community stop North Korea from continuing along this destructive and destabilizing course, which poses a growing threat to peace and security in the peninsula, the region, and the world.

At the same time, Ambassador Power suggested despite the effective strategy of increasing multilateral pressure, as we continue to find new ways to impede North Korea’s efforts to advance its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, we must not lose sight of the ultimate goal -- bringing North Korea back to the table for serious and credible diplomatic negotiations on denuclearization. “Achieving that goal will require sustained unity on the part of this Council, and an unwavering commitment by all Members States to implement -- in full -- the comprehensive, robust, and unprecedented sanctions that we have put in place today,” she said.

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