North Korea faces new sanctions from the U.N. Security Council following the country's latest intercontinental ballistic missile test in late November, Reuters reported. The council unanimously approved the sanctions with a 15-0 vote Friday.
The resolution did not include harsher sanctions suggested by the Trump administration, Time magazine reported. The U.S. wanted to ban all oil imports and freeze the international assets of both the North Korean government and its leader, Kim Jong Un.
Still, the new sanctions could level a significant blow to North Korea's struggling economy.
What sanctions were imposed?
Under the resolution, nearly 90 percent of refined petroleum exports to North Korea would be banned. The resolution would cap the country at 500,000 barrels per year. Crude oil supplies to North Korea would be capped at 4 million barrels a year, according to Reuters.
“It (the resolution) sends the unambiguous message to Pyongyang that further defiance will invite further punishments and isolation,” Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said in the Reuters report.
How would this impact North Korea?
North Korea in November asked for the United Nations to stop “brutal sanctions,” Reuters reported. The previous round of sanctions imposed after a Sept. 3 nuclear test was equal to “genocide,” North Korea leaders said.
“Cutting off oil, petroleum supplies, would obviously have a very big impact on the ordinary population,” Michael Kirby, who led a U.N. inquiry into human rights abuses in North Korea, told Reuters.
China, the main supplier of North Korea’s oil, has backed a series of cutbacks by the U.N., but not U.S. requests to completely cut off supplies.
Other sanctions call for the forced repatriation of North Korean foreign workers. Overseas workers would be forced to return to North Korea within 24 months. The move could limit “vital sources of forces of foreign currency and North Korea’s emerging market economy,” Reuters reported.
What have U.S. officials said about North Korea's defiance?
Tensions are increasing as North Korea continues to work on its nuclear and missile programs despite years of warnings through U.N. Security Council resolutions. The White House and North Korea leaders have also exchanged verbal jabs at each other.
Last month, the U.S. warned North Korea's leadership of "utter destruction," if war broke out after Pyongyang test-fired its most advanced missile, Reuters reported. The missile is considered North Korea's most advanced because it puts the U.S. in its range.