Security Council votes sanctions on N Korea blunted by Russia, China

The Security Council on Monday unanimously voted a fresh round of sanctions to punish North Korea for its nuclear and missile programmes, but the measures sought by the United States were blunted by China and Russia.

After a week of negotiations, Washington agreed to concessions demanded by Beijing and Moscow and the sanctions now cap the oil exports to Pyongyang, rather than cutting them off; ban all textile exports from that country; restrict future employment of North Koreans; allow countries to inspect ships going and coming from that country without using force, and add more items and technologies that can be used for weapons to the list of items banned for transfer.

It fell short of the original US demand for banning travel by North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un and freezing his assets.

Blunting the original Washington demand for sanctions highlight the powerful influence that Beijing and Moscow wield against the US internationally when US cannot act unilaterally.

(Arul Louis can be reached at [email protected])

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