Trump administration did not get all the teeth it wanted in new North Korean sanctions at UN

North Korean cargo vessel Dai Hong Dan was hijacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia, Oct. 29, but the crew regained control of the ship. U.S. Navy Ship USS James E. Williams responded to the distress call and provided medical assistance. Combined Task Force 150, one of three task forces under Combined Maritime Forces provides Maritime Security Operations in the waters off the coast of Somalia and Horn of Africa. MSO helps set the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment and complement the counterterrorism and security efforts in regional nations� littoral waters. Coalition forces also conduct MSO under international maritime conventions to ensure security and safety in international waters so commercial shipping and fishing can occur safely in the region. (U.S. Navy Photo/USS James E. Williams)

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.

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