In response to North Korea’s latest missile launch, the U.N. Security Council issued a fresh round of sanctions targeting the regime’s energy sector, imports and exports.
The Security Council’s unanimous 15-0 vote was the latest of many international efforts to deter North Korea’s nuclear program through diplomatic pressure. Sanctions focused on multiple economic sectors and issued new maritime authority to tamp down on the regime’s illicit smuggling activities:
— ABC News (@ABC) December 22, 2017
Friday’s sanctions came as tension between the United States and North Korea reached new heights with both sides suggesting war was imminent.
At the beginning of the month, for example, North Korea’ foreign ministry implied that war between the two was inevitable after the United States conducted a joint military exercise with South Korea.
“The remaining question now is: when will the war break out?” the regime asked after the exercise.
Despite both the United States and China applying strict sanctions on the regime, it defied the international community by launching another ballistic missile at the end of November.
Just before that launch, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he received anecdotal evidence that the sanctions affected the regime, but he couldn’t say whether they prompted the relatively long period during which North Korea refrained from provocative launches and nuclear tests.
The Security Council claimed that previous resolutions covered about 90 percent of North Korea’s export revenue. Friday’s sanctions would take at least $200 million in revenue away from the regime by placing bans on the rest of the regime’s major export sectors.
Those included food, agricultural products, electrical equipment and minerals machinery.
While it’s unclear how a seemingly unpredictable North Korea will react, Tillerson committed the United States to joint talks if the regime halted its “threatening behavior” for a sustained period of time.