The Strategist

North Korea Responded on New Sanctions With An Explosive Reaction

03/03/2016 - 14:54

On Thursday morning, North Korea launched several short-range missiles toward the Sea of Japan, according to South Korean agency Yonhap.

According to Seoul’s military, the launches were made about 10 am local time from the area near the city of Wonsan on the east coast of North Korea.

In the meantime, the UN Security Council yesterday approved a new, unprecedentedly tough resolution against North Korea. About 50% of the total exports of the DPRK now falls under the embargo. In addition, members of the United Nations now must verify absolutely all North Korean ships for illegal transportation of weapons components. In practice, the main executor of the resolution should be China, which accounts for 83% of North Korea's exports and imports. Experts believe that the new sanctions will cause serious damage to the North Korean economy, yet will not beat off desire of the country's leadership to develop a nuclear program.

Having shown rare unanimity, the UN Security Council yesterday adopted a new, extremely tough resolution against North Korea. The document introduces a partial trade embargo on North Korea. "I welcome the resolution as a solid, unified and appropriate response of the international community at the recent North Korean provocations, which openly violated the set of UN Security Council resolutions", - President Barack Obama said. The document is a response to Pyongyang's January 6 test of a nuclear explosive device, in violation of the previous four UN resolutions, adopted in the 2006-2013 years.

Now countries included in the United Nations are forbidden to purchase from North Korea coal, iron ore, rare earth metals, gold, vanadium and titanium. All this, according to the Observatory of Economic Complexity at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is 47% of the North Korean exports. The country is also banned to receive shipments of rocket and jet fuel, all types of weapons including small arms, as well as luxury goods, such as crystal and jet skis. The resolution forbids all UN countries to open branches at the North Korean banks, and companies are banned to create joint ventures with the DPRK. Existing organizations must be closed within 90 days. From now on, all North Korean ships must be inspected for contraband of arms elements.
US in cooperation with China Draft drafted the minutes of the resolution. Other members of the Security Council, in turn, made a number of amendments. The document's authors point out that its purpose is not to create "adverse humanitarian consequences" for the population.

In practice, the main executor of the resolution should be China. The country has long been advocating North Korea, acting as its main trading partner. China accounts for 83% of North Korea's exports and imports, the bulk of these restrictions in the resolution will be hung on it. The reasons for the changes in Beijing's stance on North Korea is that Pyongyang's experiments provide the US with a legitimate reason to place troops and elements of a missile defense system in the region. The military forces can also be used against China.

The new resolution also reaffirms the previous resolutions № 1718, 1874, 2087 and 2094 forbidding the DPRK any missile or nuclear tests. The black list additionally includes 16 citizens of the DPRK (including the country’s sales representatives in Syria, Iran, and Vietnam), and 12 organizations involved in the launches of missiles and bombs tests. At the time, the resolution also calls for the resumption of six-party talks involving North Korea, which broke off in 2007.