The UN Security Council has unanimously approved new sanctions against North Korea in response to the country’s February nuclear test. The vote follows fresh threats from Pyongyang.
In response to North Korea’s third nuclear test on February 12, the UN Security Council Thursday unanimously approved new sanctions to tighten financial restrictions on Pyongyang.
The resolution will intensify inspections of North Korean cargo and specifically ban exports of luxury cars, yachts and jewelry to Pyonyang. It would also add three new individuals, a government science academy, and a trading company to a UN blacklist for travel bans and asset freezes.
#video#UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the council's vote, saying in a statement that the resolution "sent an unequivocal message to [North Korea] that the international community will not tolerate its pursuit of nuclear weapons."
US ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said the new sanctions against North Korea will "bite hard."
"Taken together, these sanctions will bite and bite hard. They increase North Korea's isolation and raise the cost to North Korea's leaders of defying the international community," Rice told reporters after the vote.
Resolution 2094, drafted and negotiated by China and the US, warned of "further significant measures" if the North stages a new nuclear test or rocket launch.
North Korea continues threats
Ahead of the vote, Pyongyang stepped up its rhetoric against the US and South Korea, claiming the right to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike against Washington, which it accused of preparing an atomic war.
"Since the United States is about to ignite a nuclear war, we will be exercising our right to preemptive nuclear attack against the headquarters of the aggressor in order to protect our supreme interest," said a North Korean foreign ministry spokesman in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.
Meanwhile, South Korea puts it military on high alert, saying that North Korea was preparing for "massive" military exercises. The South Korean Defense Ministry said that it was prepared to deal with military provocations by Pyongyang.
hc/dr (Reuters, AFP, AP, dpa)