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US will introduce new UNSC resolution to strengthen sanctions on North Korea: Envoy

The US will introduce a new UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution that will update and strengthen sanctions against North Korea in the wake of Pyongyang test firing a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), Washington’s envoy to the world body announced.

“… Because of DPRK’s increasingly dangerous provocations, the US will be introducing a chapter seven Security Council resolution to update and strengthen the sanctions regime,” Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said in a UNSC meeting held on Friday, referring to the North by its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The ICBM launch on Thursday ended the North’s self-imposed moratorium on long-range missile testing that had been in place since November 2017, reports Yonhap News Agency.

This was the latest show of force following 11 previous rounds of missile tests this year that included the firing of a new hypersonic missile and an intermediate-range ballistic missile.

“The Security Council must speak publicly and with one voice to condemn the DPRK’s unlawful actions and encourage the DPRK to return to the negotiating table,” Thomas-Greenfield told the Council meeting.

The rare public meeting of the UNSC on North Korea, the first of its kind since 2017, came at the request of the US and five other members of the 15-member council, including the UK and France.

The envoy reiterated that the US remains “committed to a diplomatic solution. We hope the DPRK will accept our repeated offers of dialogue. But we also cannot stand idly by in the face of the DPRK’s repeated Security Resolution violations”.

She also dismissed calls for sanctions relief for North Korea, saying, “Why should the Security Council reward bad behaviour?”

It was however, not immediately clear when the US plans to introduce the new UNSC resolution.

The US had previously sought to impose additional UNSC sanctions on North Korea following Pyongyang’s repeated missile provocations this year, but efforts have so far failed due to opposition from Russia and China, both veto power-wielding permanent members of the Security Council and close allies of North Korea.

During the meeting on Friday, Russia again opposed the US’ call for enhanced sanctions, saying it will create “unacceptable socio-economic and humanitarian problems” for the people of North Korea.

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