UN SC toughens sanctions against North Korea

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The comment comes as tensions have increased over North Korea's nuclear program following its latest test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on November 29th.

The measures are in response to North Korea's test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on November 28 that marked an advance in Pyongyang's drive to threaten the U.S. mainland with a nuclear strike.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un says his country has emerged to pose a real nuclear threat to the United States, according to the North's official Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) on Friday.

It is the third raft of sanctions imposed on North Korea this year and comes as the United States and North Korea are showing no signs they are willing to engage in talks to end the crisis on the Korean peninsula.

North Korea regularly threatens to destroy South Korea, the United States and Japan, and says its weapons programs are necessary to counter US aggression.

"It [the resolution] sends the unambiguous message to Pyongyang that further defiance will invite further punishments and isolation", Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, said following the vote.

Speaking at the fifth Workers' Party cell chairs conference in Pyongyang the previous day, Kim reportedly said that the North has achieved the historic task of completing its nuclear force and urged the chairs to break down US sanctions and do their best to realize the party's major tasks.

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Trump asked Chinese President Xi Jinping last month to cut off oil to North Korea, a move that would cripple its desperately struggling economy.

The resolution that was adopted will restrict new deliveries of petrol products by up to 90 per cent, to 500,000 barrels a year, and crude oil at 4 million barrels a year.

"If they were enforced, the cap on oil would be devastating for North Korea's haulage industry, for North Koreans who use generators at home or for productive activities, and for [state-owned enterprises] that do the same", said Peter Ward, a columnist for NK News, a website that tracks North Korea.

China, however, raised objections at those sanctions and the request to ban the 10 ships from ports worldwide will again be considered on December 28.

Those new sanctions banned North Korea from importing all natural gas liquids and condensates.

Under the new rules, all North Korean nationals working overseas will be forced to return home within 12 months, restricting foreign currency entering the nation.

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