| UNITED NATIONS, June 2
UNITED NATIONS, June 2 The U.N. Security Council
on Friday expanded targeted sanctions against North Korea after
its repeated missile tests, adopting the first such resolution
agreed by the United States and Pyongyang's only major ally
China since President Donald Trump took office.
The Trump administration has been pressing China
aggressively to rein in its reclusive neighbor, warning that all
options are on the table if Pyongyang persists with its nuclear
and missile development.
The United States has struggled to slow North Korea's
nuclear and missile programs, which have become a security
priority given Pyongyang's vow to develop a nuclear-tipped
missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland.
Adding names to the U.N. blacklist - a global travel ban and
asset freeze - was the minimum sanctions measures the Security
Council could have taken and comes after five weeks of
negotiations between Washington and Beijing.
The resolution, adopted unanimously by the 15-member
council, sanctions four entities, including the Koryo Bank and
Strategic Rocket Force of the Korean People's Army, and 14
people, including the head of Pyongyang's overseas spying
North Korea's Koryo Bank handles overseas transactions for
Office 38, a shadowy body that manages the private slush funds
of the North Korean leadership, according to a South Korean
The measures adopted on Friday could have been agreed by the
council's North Korea sanctions committee behind closed doors,
but Washington convinced China to back a public vote on the
blacklist, amplifying the council's unhappiness with Pyongyang's
defiance of a U.N. ban on ballistic missile launches.
The U.N. Security Council first imposed sanctions on
Pyongyang in 2006 over its ballistic missile and nuclear
programs and has ratcheted up the measures in response to five
nuclear tests and two long-range missile launches. North Korea
is threatening a sixth nuclear test.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told the Security
Council on April 28 that it needed to act before North Korea
does. Just hours after the meeting - chaired by Tillerson during
his first visit to the United Nations as the top U.S. diplomat -
Pyongyang launched yet another ballistic missile.
Within days the United States proposed to China that the
Security Council strengthen sanctions on North Korea over its
repeated missile launches. Traditionally, the United States and
China have negotiated new sanctions before involving the other
Pyongyang has launched several more ballistic missiles since
then, including a short-range missile on Monday that landed in
the sea off its east coast.
Diplomats said it appeared China was still only likely to
consider additional strong new U.N. sanctions measures, such as
an oil embargo, a ban on Pyongyang's airline or tougher economic
sanctions, if North Korea conducted a long-range missile launch
or another nuclear test.
The last round of complex sanctions imposed by the Security
Council took three months to negotiate following Pyongyang's
fifth nuclear test in September. Those measures aimed to cut
North Korea's annual export revenue by a quarter.
China has also been infuriated by the U.S. deployment of an
advanced Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)
anti-missile system in South Korea, saying it was a threat to
its security and would do nothing to ease tension with
Security Council veto power Russia backed the U.N. measures
on Friday. Moscow's support had been unclear after the United
States imposed its own sanctions on Thursday on two Russian
firms for their support of North Korea's weapons programs.
Russia is also unhappy with the THAAD deployment.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols at the United Nations; Editing
by James Dalgleish)