Showcasing a unique aspect of the President Trump common sense approach toward coalition building, today the United Nations security council voted unanimously, in public, to increase sanctions against North Korea. Yes, ‘unanimously’.
China and Russia voted in alliance with the permanent security council members the U.S., France and the United Kingdom to support increased sanctions. They voted in alignment publicly. Don’t look for the anti-Trump media to make note of this critical point.
(Via Reuters) […] Adding names to the U.N. blacklist – a global travel ban and asset freeze – was the minimum sanctions measures the Security Council could have taken and comes after five weeks of negotiations between Washington and Beijing.
“The Security Council is sending a clear message to North Korea today – stop firing ballistic missiles or face the consequences,” Haley said.
The resolution, adopted unanimously by the 15-member council, sanctions four entities, including the Koryo Bank and Strategic Rocket Force of the Korean People’s Army, and 14 people, including the head of Pyongyang’s overseas spying operations.
North Korea’s Koryo Bank handles overseas transactions for Office 38, a shadowy body that manages the private slush funds of the North Korean leadership, according to a South Korean government database.
‘CRITICAL WINDOW’ – The measures adopted on Friday could have been agreed by the council’s North Korea sanctions committee behind closed doors, but Washington convinced China to back a public vote on the blacklist, amplifying the council’s unhappiness with Pyongyang’s defiance of a U.N. ban on ballistic missile launches.
The U.N. Security Council first imposed sanctions on Pyongyang in 2006 over its ballistic missile and nuclear programs and has ratcheted up the measures in response to five nuclear tests and two long-range missile launches. North Korea is threatening a sixth nuclear test.
“There is a critical window of opportunity for the nuclear issue of the peninsula to come back to the right track of seeking a settlement through dialogue and negotiations,” Chinese U.N. Ambassador Liu Jieyi told the council. “It is incumbent on all parties concerned to exercise restraint and to do more to help ease the tension and build mutual trust.”
He again proposed a simultaneous freeze of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and South Korea and the United States’ joint military exercises. Russia said the suggestion merits “serious consideration.”
Haley said: “We want a negotiated solution, but North Korea must fulfill its basic obligations by first stopping all ballistic missile launches and nuclear weapons testing and taking concrete steps towards getting rid of its nuclear weapons program.”
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told the Security Council on April 28 that it needed to act before North Korea does. Just hours after the meeting – chaired by Tillerson during his first visit to the United Nations as the top U.S. diplomat – Pyongyang launched yet another ballistic missile. (read more)