UN tightens sanctions on defiant North Korea but will China cooperate?

June 12, 2009

(ChattahBox) — With yet another nuclear test being prepared, the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Friday to expand and tighten sanctions on North Korea. The 15-0 vote on U.N. Resolution 1874 imposes an embargo on the shipment of arms from and into the communist regime and financial sanctions including freezing Pyongyang’s overseas bank accounts. It authorizes U.N. member countries to inspect North Korean sea, air and land cargo, requiring them to seize and destroy any goods transported in violation of the sanctions. Both Russia and China resisted calls to make the searches mandatory.

The agreement comes amid rising tension surrounding North Korea, which recently conducted a nuclear test, fired test rockets and threatened U.S. and South Korean ships near its territorial waters. Defiant North Korea is expected to respond, with further threats of war and by likely detonating its third underground nuclear test in defiance of the resolution. And for sanctions to work China must do more as North Korea’s primary aid and trade partner. China who shares a border with North Korea, provide $2 billion annual trade and accounts for over 40 percent of Pyongyang’s entire external trade, according to South Korean government estimates. China fears that causing a collapse of the Pyongyang regime, could result in a flood of refugees and create a newly unified, pro-American Korea on its border.

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