UN Security Council to vote on tougher North Korea sanctions

The United Nations Security Council will vote Tuesday on whether to impose new sanctions on North Korea, the United States mission to the UN said.

North Korea carried out a nuclear test on January 6 and launched a long-range rocket a month later, in violation of UN Security Council resolutions and prompting widespread condemnation.

The vote on tougher sanctions comes after weeks of negotiations between Washington and Beijing, Pyongyang's closest ally.

On Monday, a UN panel of experts found no indications that North Korea intends to end its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes in response to current UN sanctions.

In a report to the UN Security Council, the experts concluded that there are "serious questions" about the "overall efficacy" of UN sanctions, which have so far failed to make sure that North Korea abandons its stated intention to develop nuclear weapons.

The report, which covers a one-year period starting February 2015, found that the reclusive regime has been successfully evading sanctions and has continued to obtain prohibited items through embedding agents in foreign companies and using diplomatic personnel and trusted foreign nations.

The experts also note that North Korea has exported ballistic missile technology and arms to the Middle East and African countries using foreign front companies.

"All these activities are facilitated by the low level of implementation of Security Council resolutions by member states," report said.

"The reasons are diverse, but include lack of political will, inadequate enabling legislation, lack of understanding of the resolutions and low prioritization."

The report comes after the United States, with the backing of China, presented a draft resolution to the Security Council last week proposing to put unprecedented sanctions on North Korea.

The draft, if adopted, would significantly tighten sanctions on Pyongyang following the nuclear and missile tests it conducted in the last two months.

Last update: Tue, 01/03/2016 - 09:03

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