By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — A U.S.-written draft resolution at the United Nations proposes an oil embargo on North Korea and a freeze on assets of the reclusive country’s government and its leader, Kim Jong Un.
The resolution, seen by U.S. and other media on September 6, also calls for a travel ban on Kim and a block on the country’s textile exports and payments to the up to 100,000 North Korea laborers working abroad.
The demand for enhanced sanctions is in response to Pyongyang’s continued defiance of UN resolutions against its nuclear-weapons and ballistic-missile programs.
The draft UN resolution also calls for a freeze on the assets of North Korea’s national airline, Air Koryo, which flies to Beijing and other Chinese cities, and to Vladivostok in Russia.
Tensions between Pyongyang and many world powers, particularly the United States, Japan, and South Korea, are at their highest levels in years.
U.S. President Donald Trump and Kim have exchanged threats in a war of words that intensified after the North on September 3 tested what Pyongyang described as a hydrogen bomb that could be placed on an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of reaching the United States.
North Korea’s main ally, China, has condemned Pyongyang’s nuclear tests, as has Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Putin, though, on September 6 warned against “driving North Korea into a corner” over the nuclear weapons program and missile tests.
To pass, a resolution would require nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the 15-member Security Council’s permanent members, the United States, Britain, France, Russia, or China.
It was not known if China would support the tough new moves against Pyongyang.
Reports of the U.S.-drafted resolution came after Trump spoke to his Chinese counterpart to discuss the crisis.
A statement from China’s Foreign Ministry said Xi told Trump that Beijing was “unswervingly” working to achieve denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.
“At the same time, we always persist in safeguarding peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and resolving the issue through dialogue and consultation,” Xi told his U.S. counterpart.
Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, requested that the Council vote on the draft resolution on September 11, but Russia’s UN ambassador, Vasily Nebenzya, said that date might be “a little premature.”
The latest moves also come as NATO on September 6 demanded tougher implementation of existing sanctions against North Korea and called for new efforts to draw Pyongyang away from its “threatening and destabilizing path.”