UN to vote on new N Korea sanctions as China, Russia remains unclear

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United Nations: The UN Security Council is set to vote afternoon on a watered-down US-drafted resolution to impose new sanctions on North Korea over its latest nuclear test, diplomats said, but it was unclear whether China and Russia would support it.
The draft resolution appears to have been weakened in a bid to appease North Korea’s ally China and Russia following negotiations during the past few days.
In order to pass, a resolution needs nine of the 15 Security Council members to vote in favor and no vetoes by any of the five permanent members - the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China.
The draft, seen, no longer proposes blacklisting North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. The initial draft proposed he be subjected to a travel ban and asset freeze along with four other North Korea officials. The final text only lists one of those officials.
The draft text still proposes a ban on textile exports, which were North Korea’s second-biggest export after coal and other minerals in 2016, totaling $752 million, according to data from the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency. Nearly 80 percent of the textile exports went to China.
The draft drops a proposed oil embargo and instead intends to impose a ban on condensates and natural gas liquids, a cap of two million barrels a year on refined petroleum products, and a cap crude oil exports to North Korea at current levels.
China supplies most of North Korea’s crude. According to South Korean data, Beijing supplies roughly 500,000 tonnes of crude oil annually. It also exports 200,000 tonnes of oil products, according to UN data. Russia’s exports of crude oil to North Korea are about 40,000 tonnes a year.
The draft resolution also no longer proposes an asset freeze on the military-controlled national airline Air Koryo.
Since 2006, the Security Council has unanimously adopted eight resolutions ratcheting up sanctions on North Korea over its ballistic missile and nuclear programs.
The Security Council last month imposed new sanctions over North Korea’s two long-range missile launches in July. The Aug. 5 resolution aimed to slash by a third Pyongyang’s $3 billion annual export revenue by banning coal, iron, lead and seafood.

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