US calls proposed sanctions on N Korea a 'major upgrade'
United Nations: The United States have introduced a draft UN Security Council resolution that it said will significantly increase pressure on North Korea in response to its latest nuclear test and rocket launch.
Ambassador Samantha Power said the draft, which for the first time would subject cargo ships leaving and entering North Korea to mandatory inspections, goes farther than previous sanctions and is meant to ensure North Korea will be held accountable for its actions.
"It is a major upgrade and there will be, provided it goes forward, pressure on more points, tougher, more comprehensive, more sectors. It's breaking new ground in a whole host of ways," Power said before heading into a closed-door meeting where the US planned to circulate the draft to all 15 council members.
The draft is the result of an agreement between the United States and China, North Korea's main ally and Beijing's involvement signals a policy shift with regard to its often erratic neighbour. The council is expected to vote on it over the weekend.
"We are opposed to any nuclear testing and the launch testing of ballistic missile technology and we hope this resolution will help to prevent further occurrences of this nature," China's Ambassador Liu Jieyi said following the meeting.
Jieyi said China was working very closely with other members of the Security Council and that he hoped the resolution "would achieve the objective of denuclearisation" and result in "peace and stability."
In Washington, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the resolution praised China's cooperation. "I do think that it is indicative of how productive diplomacy can be. It's not easy, but it certainly is an indication that the United States and China, when our interests are aligned, can cooperate quite effectively to advance the interests of citizens in both our countries," Earnest said.
Power said the sanctions would also prohibit the sale of small arms and other conventional weapons to North Korea, closing a loophole in earlier resolutions.
Power said sanctions would also limit and in some cases ban exports of coal, iron gold titanium and rare earth minerals from North Korea and would prohibit countries from supplying aviation fuel, including rocket fuel to the country.