The United Nations (UN) Security Council unanimously passed resolution 2375 (2017) on Monday, further sanctioning the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea for its most recent nuclear test, and reaffirmed that North Korea must immediately suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile and nuclear programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner. This latest round of UN sanctions bans the supply, sale or transfer of all condensates and natural gas liquids to North Korea and bans North Korean exports of its textiles, such as fabrics and apparel products. The UN Security Council further limited the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to North Korea of all refined petroleum products beyond 500,000 barrels during an initial period of three months – beginning on October 1, 2017 and ending on December 31, 2017 – and exceeding two million barrels per year during a period of 12 months beginning on January 1, 2018 and annually thereafter. The resolution allows for all UN member states to inspect, with the consent of the flag state, vessels on the high seas if member states have information that provides reasonable grounds to believe that the cargo of such vessels contains items of which the supply, sale, transfer or export is prohibited by past UN Security Council resolutions pertaining to North Korea. In addition to further freezing assets and implementing travel bans on several persons, the UN Security Council also agreed to prohibit UN member states from providing work authorizations for North Korean nationals to work in their jurisdictions in an effort to prevent foreign earnings from being expropriated into North Korea in support of Kim Jong-un’s nuclear weapons program.
The UN Security Council urged the resumption of multilateral negotiations to diplomatically and peacefully resolve matters. In her comments, Ambassador Nikki Haley acknowledged that this new round of sanctions would “cut deep” but that the United States is not “looking for war.” She said, “The North Korean regime has not yet passed the point of no return. … If it proves that it can live in peace, the world will live in peace with it. … The choice is theirs.”