Japan, South Korea welcome new US sanctions against Pyongyang

September 12, 2017 10:30 am

’s UN Ambassador Koro Bessho and other diplomats rise their hands as they vote at a UN Security Council meeting over North Korea’s new sanctions on September 11, 2017 at the UN Headquarters in New York. (Photo by AFP)

and Japan have expressed satisfaction with the United Nations Security Council’s vote to tighten the sanctions against North Korea over its nuclear and missile program.
On Monday, the 15-nation UN body unanimously approved a US-drafted resolution for tougher bans against more than a week after the North’s sixth and biggest nuclear test.
Following the vote, South Korean and Japanese officials said their countries are ready to exert even more pressure on the North if it refuses to stop its nuclear and missile programs.
Park Su-hyun, a spokesman for the South Korean president, held a briefing on Tuesday and said Pyongyang needs to realize that a reckless challenge against international peace will bring about even stronger international sanctions against it.
It is significant that China and Russia agree on the need for stronger restrictive pleasures than previous ones, said the spokesman, adding that Seoul respects the consensus reached by the international community on the North Korea issue.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also said on Tuesday that he highly appreciates “a remarkably tough sanctions resolution.” He added that “it is important to put an unprecedented level of pressure on North Korea to make it change its policies.”
The resolution adopted Monday was a watered-down version of an initial US-proposed text. The original draft was reportedly revised in order to win the support of China and Russia.
Among the significant targets on the anti-Pyongyang sanctions list is the North’s textile exports, its second largest after coal and other minerals.
Ahead of the Security Council vote, Pyongyang had warned the United States that it would pay a “due price” for spearheading efforts on the sanctions, stressing once again that its nuclear program was part of the North’s “legitimate self-defensive measures.”
North Korea has been under intense international pressure since the September 3 nuclear test, which saw Pyongyang detonate what is said to be an advanced hydrogen bomb. The bomb was about three times more powerful than America’s atomic bomb that destroyed Japan’s Hiroshima in 1945.
On Monday, Peru’s government declared North Korea’s ambassador persona non grata and gave him five days to leave the nation in retaliation for the Asian country’s nuclear test blast.
The Foreign Ministry said Monday that it decided to expel Ambassador Kim Hak-chol because of Pyongyang’s repeated flaunting of resolutions by the UN Security Council against its nuclear program.
Peru’s action follows a similar rebuke recently by Mexico.
In another development, China’s Big Four state-owned banks stopped providing financial services to new North Korean clients, according to branch staff.
So far, punitive measures against North Korea have failed to stop the country’s nuclear weapons and missiles program.
Pyongyang says it needs its advanced measures to continue and develop its military program as a deterrent in the face of hostile policies by the United States and its regional allies, including South Korea and Japan.
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