New UN Sanctions Will Force All North Koreans Home

Any citizens working overseas have to return to country within 24 months
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 23, 2017 5:00 AM CST
New UN Sanctions Will Force All North Koreans Home
In this Tuesday, May 2, 2017 file photo, a man watches a television screen showing U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea.   (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

The UN Security Council unanimously approved tough new sanctions against North Korea on Friday in response to its latest launch of a ballistic missile that Pyongyang says is capable of reaching anywhere on the US mainland. The AP reports the resolution adopted by the council includes sharply lower limits on North Korea's refined oil imports, the return home of all North Koreans working overseas within 24 months, and a crackdown on ships smuggling banned items including coal and oil to and from the country. But the resolution doesn't include even harsher measures sought by the Trump administration that would ban all oil imports and freeze international assets of the government and Kim Jong Un. President Trump tweeted the 15-0 vote, adding: "The World wants Peace, not Death!"

The resolution, drafted by the US and negotiated with the North's closest ally, China, drew criticism from Russia for the short time the 13 other council nations had to consider the draft, and last-minute changes to the text. Two of those changes were extending the deadline for North Korean workers to return home from 12 months to 24 months—which Russia said was the minimum needed—and reducing the number of North Koreans being put on the UN sanctions blacklist from 19 to 15. US Ambassador Nikki Haley said after the vote that "the unity this council has shown in leveling these unprecedented sanctions is a reflection of the international outrage at the Kim regime's actions." The Security Council has stood united for the 10th time "against a North Korean regime that rejects the pursuit of peace," she said. The AP has more on the key provisions of the new sanctions.

(More North Korea stories.)

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