The United Nations Security Council will vote Thursday, at the request of the United States, on a resolution seeking to tighten sanctions against North Korea after it fired an intercontinental ballistic missile, diplomats said Wednesday.
The United States, which will hold the rotating presidency of the Security Council in May, has scheduled the vote for late afternoon, two diplomats told AFP on condition of anonymity.
Earlier, a senior US official said the resolution would look primarily at curbing oil imports, although diplomats say Russia and China could exercise their veto powers.
The official noted that Security Council Resolution 2397, passed unanimously in 2017, calls for further ramifications in the event of a new ICBM launch.
“That was a provision of that resolution. That is exactly what happened and that is why we believe it is now time to take action,” the official said, on condition of anonymity.
The official declined to comment on whether Russia and China would veto the text, but said: “We think this resolution will get a lot of support because this is an issue of great importance to us, obviously (and ) of great importance to our allies Japan and South Korea.”
The motion for a resolution calls for a reduction in the amount of oil that North Korea can legally import for civilian purposes each year from four million to three million barrels (525,000 to 393,750 tons).
It would similarly reduce refined petroleum imports from 500,000 to 375,000 barrels.
The resolution would also impose further sanctions on North Korean exports, including clocks, watches and mineral fuels.
The United States and South Korea say North Korea fired three missiles, including possibly its largest ICBM, hours after President Joe Biden concluded a visit to the region.
A UN envoy whose country is on the Security Council, who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity, acknowledged the “massive threat” posed by North Korea’s actions, and said the US decision to push for a swift mood can still backfire.
“A division of the Security Council on this crisis would be bad,” the envoy said, pointing to the high stakes on the “nuclear proliferation issue.”
“If the draft is rejected, I’m afraid it will only be good news for the young leader of the DPRK,” the ambassador said, adding that such a split in the council would make it more difficult to “take the pressure off”. feed. Pyongyang.
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