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UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations Security Council has approved new sanctions against North Korea aimed at cutting off funding for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
The session included remarks from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who rarely attends council votes. “Today’s resolution includes the toughest and most comprehensive sanctions regime ever imposed by the Security Council,” he said.
Previous Security Council resolutions have demanded North Korea abandon its nuclear weapons program and not conduct any nuclear tests or launches of ballistic missiles. But North Korea has repeatedly defied the world body during the past decade, including with its latest nuclear test in September.
The new sanctions would include capping North Korea’s coal exports, which a U.S. official said would amount to cutting the country’s single largest source of external revenue by 60 percent, or as much as $700 million per year.
There would also be a ban on exports of certain metals such as copper, nickel, silver and zinc that bring North Korea more than $100 million a year.
Some 11 North Korean officials and 10 entities involved in the nuclear and ballistic missile programs would be added to the list of those designated for travel bans and asset freezes.
The measure also targets imported luxury goods favored by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and other officials, banning carpets and tapestries worth more than $500 and fine china and porcelain tableware valued at more than $100.
The U.S. and South Korea joined with China, Russia, Japan and North Korea in six-party talks aimed at curbing the North Korean nuclear weapons program in exchange for aid, but those negotiations broke down in 2009.