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United Nations to vote on tougher North Korea sanctions

United Nations to vote on tougher North Korea sanctions”

Backed by its European allies, Japan and South Korea, the USA has been leading the push at the United Nations for tougher sanctions in response to North Korea's launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile on July 4.

The United States and China have been negotiating the draft text for the past month.

After the latest North Korea launch prohibited by United Nations resolutions on July 28, US Ambassador Nikki Haley said she didn't want to conduct an emergency Council meeting because she was exhausted of such sessions that were just full of words.

"The more desperately the United States works to realise its ambition for "nuclear dismantlement of the north" through "maximum pressure and engagement", the more dynamically North Korea has stepped up diversifying and modernising its nuclear force", it said.

A proposed new United Nations sanctions resolution would significantly increase economic pressure on North Korea to return to negotiations on its nuclear and missile programs by banning mineral and seafood exports worth over $1 billion - a third of its total exports past year, a Security Council diplomat said Friday.

The draft text would also prevent North Korea from increasing the number of workers it sends overseas, prohibit all new joint ventures and ban new investment in the current joint companies, as well as sanction Pyongyang's primary foreign exchange bank.

The council is expected to vote on Saturday on the measures that include a ban on exports of coal, iron and iron ore, lead and lead ore, as well as seafood by the cash-starved state.

The United States and its allies have argued that tougher sanctions are needed to force North Korea to come to the negotiating table to discuss a halt to its military programs.

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North Korea pulled out of the talks in 2009 in protest against global condemnation of a long-range rocket launch.

Two resolutions adopted a year ago, however, have introduced economic sanctions with more bite.

The draft resolution would ban North Korea's exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood.

The Washington Post has quoted an U.N. official acknowledging that the United States had sought some elements that were not part of the new proposal.

The Security Council diplomat described the resolution as aimed at the leadership of North Korea, not its people. The Security Council diplomat, who refused to be identified in order to reveal resolution content, said there was "high confidence" Russian Federation and China would support the resolution. North Korea denounced the move as an "outrageous and unlawful" act that only justifies its development of nuclear weapons.

It would also tighten trade restrictions on technology to prevent North Korea from acquiring items that could be used for its military programs.

A council diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there was a "high confidence" that Russian Federation and China, North Korea's main trading partner and ally, would support the draft resolution.

It would also give a green light for the committee to designate specific vessels that are breaking sanctions from entering ports all over the world, and to work with INTERPOL to enforce travel bans on North Koreans on the sanctions blacklist.

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