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Proposed U.N. Resolution Would Toughen Sanctions on North Korea

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North Korean workers at a construction site in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The North relies on remittances from thousands of workers sent abroad as a major source of income. Credit Byambasuren Byamba-Ochir/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

UNITED NATIONS — The United States circulated a proposed resolution to the United Nations Security Council on Thursday that would further choke North Korea’s economy, with a near total ban on fuel imports, a tightening of restrictions on shipping and a one-year deadline for most North Korean laborers working under contracts abroad to go home.

Security Council diplomats said the resolution — a response to North Korea’s test of an intercontinental ballistic missile a month ago — represented a significant squeeze on the North, which imports all of its refined fuel and relies on remittances from thousands of workers sent abroad as a major source of income. The resolution is likely to be put to a vote on Friday in the 15-member Council.

North Korea, the world’s most isolated nation, has repeatedly defied Security Council resolutions to halt its nuclear weapons and missile testing. Tensions on the Korean Peninsula over concerns about a possible war have escalated in the year since the Trump administration took office.

President Trump has threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea. Its leader, Kim Jong-un, has threatened to strike the United States with a “nuclear sword of justice.”

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A North Korean ferry in Vladivostok, Russia, where businesses use North Korean workers. Credit James Hill for The New York Times

A copy of the proposed resolution, seen by The New York Times on Thursday evening, would limit North Korea’s import of refined petroleum to 500,000 barrels a year as of Jan. 1, representing a roughly 90 percent reduction. The restriction would include diesel and kerosene, which are used by North Korea’s military.

The proposed resolution also calls for the return of North Korean citizens “earning income abroad” within 12 months, with some exceptions based on humanitarian and other laws. Many North Koreans work in Russia and China under conditions that human rights advocates have described as harsh.

Source: NYT > World

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