The United States fell far short of the stiff new sanctions it sought from the United Nations as it seeks to put more economic pressure on North Korea following its sixth nuclear weapons test and continued ICBM development.
Here is what is included in the new sanctions package, according to The New York Times: “The resolution asks countries around the world to inspect ships going in and out of North Korea’s ports (a provision put in place by the Security Council in 2009) but does not authorize the use of force for ships that do not comply, as the Trump administration had originally proposed… The resolution also does not impose a travel ban or asset freeze on Mr. Kim, as the original American draft had set out… The resolution does ban textile exports from North Korea, prohibits the sale of natural gas to North Korea and sets a cap on refined petroleum sales to the country of two million barrels per year.” Also, in a nod to China and Russia, the new sanctions call “for resolving the crisis ‘through peaceful, diplomatic and political means.’ That is diplomatic code to engage in negotiations.”
Analyst Comment: Without question, the North Korean government will not authorize its ships carrying weapons and other military technologies that earn Pyongyang hard cash to give in to inspections, so that portion of the new sanctions is practically meaningless. As for the additional sanctions, how effective they are will really depend on China, which is responsible for 85-90 percent of all exports and trade with North Korea. We don’t really think that Beijing is all that interested in helping the U.S. punish North Korea, despite the nuisance and headache North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has become.
Then, of course, there are the Russian smugglers.