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UN unanimously backs new sanctions on North Korea

The UN Security Council on Monday unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea, slapping a ban on textile exports and restricting shipments of oil products to punish Pyongyang for its sixth and largest nuclear test.

With backing from China and Russia, the council adopted a US-drafted sanctions resolution just one month after banning exports of coal, lead and seafood in response to North Korea’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

US Ambassador Nikki Haley said the tough new measures were a message to Pyongyang that “the world will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea,” but she also held out the prospect of a peaceful resolution to the crisis.

“We don’t take pleasure in further strengthening sanctions today,” Haley told the council.

“We are not looking for war. The North Korean regime has not yet passed the point of no-return.

“If it agrees to stop its nuclear program, it can reclaim its future. If it proves it can live in peace, the world will live in peace with it,” Haley added.

“If North Korea continues its dangerous path, we will continue with further pressure. The choice is theirs.”

During tough negotiations, the United States dropped initial demands for a full oil embargo and a freeze on the foreign assets of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un in a bid to win support from China and Russia.

The resolution instead bans textile exports, cuts off natural gas shipments to North Korea, places a ceiling on deliveries of refined oil products and caps crude oil shipments at their current level.

It bars countries from issuing new work permits to North Korean laborers sent abroad and seeks to phase out the practice by asking countries to report on the date for ending existing contracts.

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