U.S. calls proposed sanctions on N. Korea a ‘major upgrade’
The United States on Thursday introduced a draft U.N. Security Council resolution that it said will significantly increase pressure on North Korea in response to its latest nuclear test and rocket launch.
Ambassador Samantha Power said the draft, which for the first time would subject cargo ships leaving and entering North Korea to mandatory inspections, goes farther than previous sanctions and is meant to ensure North Korea will be held accountable for its actions.
“It is a major upgrade and there will be, provided it goes forward, pressure on more points, tougher, more comprehensive, more sectors. It’s breaking new ground in a whole host of ways,” Power said before heading into a closed-door meeting where the U.S. planned to circulate the draft to all 15 council members.
The draft is the result of an agreement between the United States and China, North Korea’s main ally and Beijing’s involvement signals a policy shift with regard to its often erratic neighbor. The council is expected to vote on it over the weekend.
“We are opposed to any nuclear testing and the launch testing of ballistic missile technology and we hope this resolution will help to prevent further occurrences of this nature,” China’s Ambassador Liu Jieyi said following the meeting.
Jieyi said China was working very closely with other members of the Security Council and that he hoped the resolution “would achieve the objective of denuclearization” and result in “peace and stability.”
In Washington, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the resolution praised China’s cooperation.