Will the new sanctions against North Korea be enough?
The United Nations Security Council voted on Monday, September 11, 2017, the resolution on sanctions against North Korea at its headquarters in New York. The body voted unanimously to pass resolutions designed to lessen North Korea's nuclear ambitions. EFE / ANDREW GOMBERT
Last Monday, the Security Council of the UN unanimously approved a new package of sanctions against North Korea, in retaliation for its ballistic exercises and its nuclear program.
This is the ninth group of sanctions imposed to Pyongyang since 2006, and includes a ban on textile exportations and a ceiling on its oil imports.
The resolution specifies a ban to exportations of condensed oil from all the countries inside the UN to the regime; the closure of refined oil exportations up to 2m barrels per year (around half of its actual amount), but it maintains the crude oil exportations in 4m barrels per year, which wont affect China’s supply.
According to the Council’s document, this resolution would “reduce about 30% of oil provided to North Korea by cutting off over 55% of refined petroleum products going to North Korea,” the statement said. “Combined with the previous Security Council resolutions, over 90% of North Korea’s publicly reported 2016 exports of $2.7bn are now banned (coal, textiles, iron, seafood)”.
President Donald Trump considered the Security Council’s measure as “just another very small step”, showing his dissatisfaction before the lack of a complete blockade against North Korea.
On another hand, former envoy from South Korea for the nuclear issue, Chun Yung-woo, assured that,“North Koreans are so used to living in harsh economic conditions that they would just get by for at least one year even if the oil ban is adopted, rationing the existing stockpile among top elites at a minimum level and replacing cars, tractors, equipment with cow wagons, human labor etc.”, according to Reuters.
“They would also manage to produce oil from whatever resources are available, whether it be coal, trees or plants.”
The North Korean Foreign Minister’s answer was succinct and striking: the sanctions have been interpreted as "heinous provocation aimed at depriving the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the country's official name) of its legitimate right for self-defense."
According to the Minister, "The 'resolution' was fabricated by the US employing all sorts of despicable and vicious means and methods," as reported by the regime’s national news channel.
Likewise, Pyongyang assured that it could answer to any sanction by inflicting upon the United States "the greatest pain and suffering it had ever gone through in its entire history," as CNN reported.