] The UN Security Council unanimously adopted new sanctions against North Korea on Sept. 12, imposing caps on its imports of oil.
The move comes in the wake of North Korea’s sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 3.
The sanctions include a freeze on North Korean imports of crude oil at current levels of 4 million barrels a year and a cap on imports of refined petroleum products at 2 million barrels annually, or about half the current levels.
It is the first time the UNSC has targeted oil in its sanctions against the regime.
The US had pushed for a complete oil embargo to stop North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles aimed at the continental US.
But China and Russia, two of the five veto-wielding council members, reportedly balked at any move that could destabilize the impoverished country.
Still, the restrictions on oil are expected to reduce North Korea’s consumption of related products by 30 percent, according to experts and diplomats.
Resolution 2375 also includes a ban on exports of North Korean textiles, a key source of revenue for the regime, and restrictions on the use of North Korean workers overseas.
North Korea is estimated to earn some US$800 million and US$200 million annually from the two sectors, respectively.
The resolution also prohibits North Korean imports of liquefied natural gas and condensates.
Marking a step back from the original U.S. draft, however, there is no travel ban or asset freeze against North Korean leader Kim Jong-un or his sister.
By Alex Lee and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org