The UN Security Council on Monday adopted a resolution on a new round of sanctions against North Korea in response to the country's sixth nuclear test. The US-drafted document was supported by all members of the Security Council, including Russia and China.
But after negotiations in recent days, mainly among the council's veto powers - the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France - the revised draft appears to resemble another incremental increase in sanctions on Pyongyang.
MCEVERS: And a diplomatic solution of course does require some diplomacy, not just sanctions.
The diplomats expressed optimism for the US-backed measure, despite Russia and China's reticence.
It is the ninth Security Council resolution to impose sanctions on North Korea, whose nuclear and ballistic missile tests violate previous Security Council directives.
Both China, the patron of North Korea, and Russia, one of its main trading partners, sought to put pressure on the US to agree on not overthrowing the Kim Jong-un regime or to force a reunion of North and South Koreas.
Japan passed an anti-hate law last year, which may be discouraging fresh acts of abuse against the community, but the issue still bears watching, said Moon Gyeong-su, professor of ethnic Korean studies at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto.
KELEMEN: Well, China and Russia have been encouraging that and repeated that again on the floor of the Security Council today.
The proposed resolution would slap a ban on textile exports from North Korea, but drop demands for a full halt to payments of North Korea labourers working abroad.
How will these sanctions impact North Korea? "Europe and especially Germany should be prepared to play a very active part in that", she added.
A two-page spread carried by country's official Rodong Sinmun newspaper on Sunday showed photos of Kim and his wife Ri Sol-Ju attending a special concert held for the nuclear scientists and technicians.
Katsuhisa Furukawa, a former member of a U.N. panel of experts monitoring sanctions enforcement on North Korea, said the latest package will effectively deprive Pyongyang of all major sources of foreign currency.
Kim would be spared from a UN blacklist that would have hit him with an assets freeze and a travel ban and punished him directly for the country's military drive. "In case the U.S. eventually does rig up the illegal and unlawful 'resolution' on harsher sanctions, the DPRK shall make absolutely sure that the U.S. pays due price", the statement reads.
The latest resolution contained new political language urging "further work to reduce tensions so as to advance the prospects for a comprehensive settlement".
Chinese Ambassador Liu Jieyi again called for talks "sooner rather than later".
North Korea, who long has had a blustery rhetoric towards the U.S. has ramped up its missile and nuclear weapons tests this year. It also allows states to inspect vessels on the high seas suspected of carrying items prohibited by the sanctions regime.
It also bans joint ventures with North Korean entities, except for non-profit public utility infrastructure projects.
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