UNSC to vote on new sanctions against North Korea
United Nations: The UN Security Council is expected to vote on a new draft resolution that would tighten sanctions against North Korea in response to its ballistic missile launch last month.
A Security Council meeting has been scheduled for Friday at 1.00 p.m. EST (1800 GMT). The US-drafted resolution was circulated among council members on Thursday, Xinhua news agency reported.
The draft seeks to ban nearly 90 per cent of refined petroleum product exports, including diesel and kerosene to North Korea, setting a ceiling of 500,000 barrels a year. It also caps crude oil exports to Pyongyang at 4 million barrels a year.
The draft also demands the repatriation of overseas North Korean workers within 12 months.
In addition, the draft resolution bans North Korea's exports of food products, machinery, electrical equipment, earth and stone, including magnesite and magnesia, wood and vessels. It bans the supply of industrial equipment, machinery, transportation vehicles, and industrial metals to Pyongyang.
The draft also provides for measures to stop ships illegally providing oil to the country through ship-to-ship transfers and smuggling coal and other prohibited commodities by sea.
"UN member states shall seize, inspect, freeze and impound any vessel in its territorial waters, if the member state has reasonable grounds to believe that the vessel was involved in activities, or the transport of items, prohibited by Security Council resolutions," according to the text.
The draft resolution puts 19 new North Korea's citizens, most of them bank officials, and the Ministry of the People's Armed Forces on a list for a global asset freeze and travel ban.
Pyongyang successfully test-fired a newly-developed intercontinental ballistic missile in late November, drawing strong condemnation from the international community.