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U.N. studies NKorea oil embargo, textile export ban.

Summary: The United States wants the United Nations Security Council to impose an oil embargo on North Korea, ban the country's exports of textiles and subject leader Kim Jong Un to an asset freeze and travel ban, according to a draft resolution.

UNITED NATIONS: The United States wants the United Nations Security Council to impose an oil embargo on North Korea, ban the country's exports of textiles and subject leader Kim Jong Un to an asset freeze and travel ban, according to a draft resolution.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has said she wants the 15-member council to vote Monday on the draft resolution to impose new sanctions over North Korea's sixth and largest nuclear test. However, Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia has said a Monday vote may be "a little premature."

It was not immediately clear if the draft resolution had the support of North Korean ally China. Russian President Vladimir Putin insisted Wednesday that resolving the North Korean nuclear crisis was impossible with sanctions and pressure alone.

Since 2006, the Security Council has unanimously adopted eight resolutions ratcheting up sanctions on North Korea over its ballistic missile and nuclear programs.

The new draft resolution would ban exports to North Korea of crude oil, condensate, refined petroleum products and liquefied natural gas.

China supplies most of North Korea's crude. According to South Korean data, Beijing supplies roughly 500,000 tons of crude oil annually. It also exports 200,000 tons of oil products, according to U.N. data. Russia's exports of crude oil to North Korea are about 40,000 tons a year.

The Security Council last month imposed new sanctions over North Korea's two missile launches in July. The Aug. 5 resolution aimed to slash by a third Pyongyang's $3 billion annual export revenue by banning coal, iron, lead and seafood.

The new draft resolution would remove an exception for transshipments of Russian coal via the North Korean port of Rajin. In 2013 Russia reopened a railway link with North Korea, from the Russian eastern border town of Khasan, to export coal and import goods from South Korea.

The Aug. 5 resolution capped the number of North Koreans working abroad at the current level. The new draft resolution would impose a complete ban on the hiring and payment of North Korean laborers abroad.

Some diplomats estimate that between 60,000 and 100,000 North Koreans work abroad.

The draft resolution would ban textiles, which were North Korea's second-biggest export after coal and other minerals in 2016, totaling $752 million, according to data from the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency. Nearly 80 percent of the textile exports went to China.

The assets of military-controlled airline, Air Koryo, would be frozen if the draft resolution is adopted. It flies to Beijing and a few other cities in China, including Dandong, the main transit point for trade between the two countries.

Along with blacklisting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the draft resolution would also impose a travel ban and asset freeze on four other senior North Korean officials. The Worker's Party of Korea and the government of North Korea would also be subjected to an asset freeze.The draft resolution would allow states to intercept and inspect on the high seas vessels that have been blacklisted by the Security Council.

Currently nearly two dozen vessels are listed and the new draft text would add another nine ships.

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Publication:The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)
Geographic Code:9CHIN
Date:Sep 7, 2017
Words:587
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