U.N. Resolution Proposed by U.S. Would Sanction Kim, Cut Oil Supplies

By Farnaz FassihiFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

A U.S. proposal for new United Nations sanctions against North Korea would target the country's leader Kim Jong Un and key members of his regime with a full asset freeze and world-wide travel ban and clamp an embargo on oil and textile trade, according to a draft of the proposal.

If adopted, the draft resolution would significantly escalate political and diplomatic pressure on Pyongyang as it continues to defy U.N. resolutions with its nuclear and ballistic-missile tests.

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The U.S. circulated a draft of the resolution, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, to all 15 members of the Security Council, and diplomats said they expect a vote on Sept. 11. Negotiations for a consensus have expanded from talks between the U.S. and China to all members of the Council, diplomats said.

"This is an ambitious and hard-hitting resolution," said a Security Council diplomat. "We will be open to negotiations but there must be a strong resolution."

The new sanctions resolution was designed to cripple the heart of the regime, from leader Kim Jong Un to the country's military and key ministries, in an effort to use diplomacy to halt the country's accelerating nuclear weapons program.

The resolution faces its biggest hurdle in winning the backing of China and Russia. Both countries are allies of North Korea and have said they don't favor sanctions that would cripple the economy to the brink of collapse or contribute to the suffering of civilians. Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that cutting off oil exports to North Korea would violate humanitarian norms.

Under the proposed U.N. resolution, member states and their citizens and vessels would be prohibited from exporting to North Korea all crude oil, refined petroleum products and liquefied natural gas.

The resolution targets four other high-ranking North Korean officials within Mr. Kim's close circle. The list of sanctioned entities would be expanded to Air Koryo, North Korea's national airline -- implicated for carrying illicit military equipment -- North Korea's People's Army and three other ministries related to the party.

The resolution proposed by the U.S. also would authorize all member states to inspect cargo vessels on high seas and report the details of the ship and the inspection to the U.N. sanctions committee.

Write to Farnaz Fassihi at farnaz.fassihi@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 06, 2017 18:30 ET (22:30 GMT)