The UN Security Council has imposed tough new sanctions on North Korea in response to ballistic missile tests.
President Donald Trump praised the decision in a tweet: “The United Nations Security Council just voted 15-0 in favor of additional Sanctions on North Korea. The World wants Peace, not Death!”
The US-drafted resolution includes measures to cut North Korea’s petrol imports by up to 90%.
China and Russia, North Korea’s main trading partners, voted in favor of the resolution.
North Korea is already subject to a raft of sanctions from the US, the UN and the EU.
Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, said the sanctions sent an “unambiguous message to Pyongyang that further defiance will invite further punishments and isolation”.
She described North Korea as “the most tragic example of evil in the modern world”.
The Chinese foreign ministry described the situation on the peninsula as “complex and sensitive” and called on all sides to “exercise restraint and make active efforts to ease tensions”.
The US said it was seeking a diplomatic solution to the issue and drafted this new set of sanctions, including: deliveries of petrol products will be capped at 500,000 barrels a year, and crude oil at four million barrels a year; all North Korean nationals working abroad will have to return home within 24 months under the proposals, restricting a vital source of foreign currency. There will also be a ban on exports of North Korean goods, such as machinery and electrical equipment.
Tensions have risen this year over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, which it has pursued despite pressure from world powers.
The UN sanctions came in response to North Korea’s November 28 firing of a ballistic missile, which the US said was its highest yet.
President Trump has previously threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea if it launches a nuclear attack. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has described President Trump as “mentally deranged”.