The UN Security Council on Monday unanimously approved new sanctions against North Korea for its sixth nuclear test, which ban textile exports and restrict their supply in oil and gas.
The United Nations endorsed the resolution - backed by the US - with the support of China and Russia, a month after adopting another that vetoed North Korean exports of coal, iron and shellfish after the launch in mid-August of a half missile reach over Japan.
The United States had to take some measures to secure Beijing and Moscow's endorsement of its proposal, such as a total oil embargo or the freezing of the assets of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. "We are not looking for a war," US Ambassador Nikki Haley said after the vote.
Seoul greeted the decision, calling the resolution "a stern warning" against Pyongyang, while the Japanese prime minister "highly appreciated" the text that shows that "the international community must accentuate pressure on North Korea to a new level and without precedents "to" change your policy ".
The resolution prohibits textile exports, shipments of natural gas and limits deliveries of refined petroleum products. It also restricts UN member countries from granting new work permits to North Korean citizens.
Some 93,000 nationals work overseas, becoming a major source of income to finance the Pyongyang armaments program, according to a US source.
On the other hand, it enables to inspect vessels suspicious of transporting to North Korea burdens affected by the sanctions, although with the authorization of the country under whose flag they are registered. The initial draft resolution allowed them to be examined by force.
The United States, the United Kingdom, France and Italy, among others, agreed that the new resolution is "very solid", balanced "and expresses the" unity "and" determination "of the international institution to address the problem.
In search of lasting stability
With this new package of sanctions - the eighth since 2006 - the UN wants to pressure North Korea to negotiate its weapons program, which it regards as threatening global stability.
The resolution limits the delivery of petroleum products to 500,000 barrels for three months from October 1 and two million barrels from January 1, 2018 for 12 months.
That will mean a 10 percent cut in these products, according to the US Department of Energy, which estimates North Korea imports about 2.2 million barrels a year.
The regime imports gasoline and diesel mainly from China, vital to ensure the functioning of the agricultural, military and transportation sectors.
Beijing - Pyongyang's most important ally - refused to endorse the total oil embargo proposed by Washington, fearing it would shatter the North Korean economy.
The resolution states that North Korea will continue to receive the four million barrels of crude oil per year from China. The sanctions on textile exports will deprive the regime of about $ 726 million a year, according to a US source.
The document nevertheless expresses the concerns of the Russian and Chinese authorities, who support dialogue, and stresses the need to "ensure lasting stability in north-east Asia" and "resolve the situation through peaceful, diplomatic and political channels.
Moscow and Beijing are pushing for talks with Pyongyang but their proposal to halt nuclear tests and missile launches in exchange for the suspension of joint military exercises between Washington and Seoul was rejected by the United States.
The White House has said that military action is one of its options to address the North Korean crisis and has threatened to cut its economic ties with countries that continue to trade with North Korea - 90 percent of its foreign trade is with China.
Kim's regime warned Monday morning that it will not accept any punishment for its nuclear and ballistic programs. He claims that they are vital to ensuring their security in the face of the threat posed by the United States.
The Foreign Ministry promised, according to a statement issued by the KCNA state agenda, that "the United States will pay the price" if a new "illegal resolution" is approved.
"The next steps of the DPRK will inflict on the United States the greatest pain they have ever known in their history," North Korean Ambassador Tae Song Han told the disarmament conference in Geneva on Tuesday.
Some experts were skeptical about the effectiveness of the measures taken, noting that previous sanctions did not prevent North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs from progressing significantly.
"It's not enough to hurt," said Go Myong-Hyun of the Institute for Policy Studies.
According to Kim Hyun-Wook, a professor at Korea's national diplomatic academy, "sanctions give Pyongyang an excuse to multiply provocations, such as launching an intercontinental missile."