North Korea Faces New UN Sanctions for Hydrogen Bomb Test

This image made from video of an Aug. 14, 2017, still image broadcast in a news bulletin on Aug. 15, 2017, by North Korea’s KRT shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un receiving a briefing in Pyongyang. North Korea said leader Kim Jong Un was briefed on his military’s plans to launch missiles in waters near Guam days after the Korean People’s Army announced its preparing to create “enveloping fire” near the U.S. military hub in the Pacific. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this photo. (KRT via AP Video)

(CN) – The United Nations Security Council unanimously approved new sanctions against North Korea on Monday night in response to the country’s recent test of a hydrogen bomb.

The sanctions reduce the amount of oil that can be sold to North Korea by 30 percent and put in place a full ban on textiles, which cuts off $800 million in revenue for the reclusive country.

Monday’s vote means that 90 percent of North Korea’s exports are now under sanction, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said. The resolution also freezes the assets of the North Korean regime and forbids joint ventures with the North Korean government.

“Today, we are saying the world will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea,” Haley said after the sanctions resolution passed. “And today, the Security Council is saying that if the North Korean regime does not halt its nuclear program, we will act to stop it ourselves.”

North Korea’s hydrogen bomb activity on Sept. 3 marked the latest in a series of tests that have escalated tensions with the United States and its allies. Last month North Korea followed up a threat against the U.S. territory of Guam with the firing of a ballistic missile over Japan.

To date North Korea has balked at nuclear disarmament as a condition of negotiating with the west.

Through state-run media on Monday, North Korea’s Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee called the new sanctions “disgusting.” The message included a warning for Japan and the United States about the power of North Korea’s newly tested hydrogen bomb, calling the weapon key to “set right the biased international order ruled by the U.S.”

Even though the unanimous vote on Monday night put in place the toughest sanctions against North Korea to date, Haley said there is still time for the country to negotiate with the rest of the world and avoid military conflict.

“We don’t take pleasure in further strengthening sanctions today,” Haley said Monday. “We are not looking for war. The North Korean regime has not yet passed the point of no return. If it agrees to stop its nuclear program, it can reclaim its future. If it proves it can live in peace, the world will live in peace with it.”

President Donald Trump seemed to take such an option off the table in August. “Talking is not the answer” to the North Korean problem, he tweeted at the time. Earlier this month Trump also criticized South Korea for attempting to negotiate with its northern neighbor, saying “they only understand one thing.”

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