North Korea Current Affairs

UNSC unanimously adopts new sanctions against North Korea

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has unanimously passed new set of tougher sanctions against North Korea over its sixth and most powerful nuclear test (claimed to be Hydrogen bomb).

It was overall the ninth sanctions resolution unanimously adopted by UNSC since 2006 over North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs. The new sanctions imposes ban on North Korea’s textile exports and capping imports of crude oil.

New sanctions include

It limits on imports of crude oil and oil products to North Korea. It bans exports of textiles, which is North Korea’s second-biggest export worth more than $700million a year. It also limits North Koreans from working overseas, which may cut off $500 million of tax revenue per year.

Background

In recent months, North Korea under the leadership of Kim Jong-un had staged series of missile tests including ICBMs that appeared to bring much of US mainland into range. It was followed up with sixth nuclear test on September 3, 2017 which was the largest to date, was claimed to be a miniaturized hydrogen bomb. The US and its Asian allies argue that tougher sanctions will put pressure on North Korea to come to the negotiation table to discuss end to its nuclear and missile tests. Russia and China, which are close allies of North Korea also are pushing for talks. They have proposed suspension of US-South Korean military drills for freezing North Korea’s missile and nuclear tests.

United Nations Security Council (UNSC)

UNSC is one of six principal organs of the United Nations Organisation (UNO). Its mandate is to maintain international peace and security. UNSC has 15 members, including five permanent viz. China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and United States. Each of the five permanent members has veto power.

Its powers include establishment of peacekeeping operations, imposing international sanctions, and authorization of collective military action against through resolutions. It is the only UN body with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member states.

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North Korea claims successful test of its first intercontinental missile  

North Korea has claimed that it has successfully test-fired its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Hwasong-14 into waters near Sea of Japan. The claim was confirmed by United States.

The launch appeared to be North Korea’s most successful missile test since its ballistic missile programme gathered pace in the late 1990s. The successful test also marks North Korea’s the final step in becoming confident and powerful nuclear state that can strike anywhere on Earth.

Key Facts

Based on missile’s height and trajectory path, US scientists claim that missile could potentially be powerful enough to reach Alaska.  The missile had reached an altitude higher and flew longer than any of the North Korea’s previous similar tests. The missile had landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

US has strongly condemned the launch and added that it will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea. The ICBM testing represents a new escalation of the threat to US and its allies and partners, the region and the world.

What is Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)?

An ICBM is a missile launched by a land-based system that is intended to carry nuclear payloads. To qualify as an ICBM, a missile must have a minimum range of 5,500km. The most significant difference between an ICBM and other ballistic missiles is its greater range and speed. It enables countries to strike exceptionally distant targets with minimum warning.

What are experts saying about the North Korean claim?

Analysis by South Korea and Japan has supported the account given by North Korea, which said the missile reached an altitude of 2,802km and flew 930km. The US initially had described it as an intermediate-range missile but later conceded it was an ICBM. North Korea will be 8th nation in the world to successfully test ICBM. Other countries that have ICBM technology are US, Russia, China, UK, France, Israel and India.

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