On Friday, the United Nations unanimously voted to levy the harshest sanctions yet against Kim Jong Un’s North Korean regime. The new limitations include a significant reduction in oil imports into the nation and the demand for all North Korean citizens working abroad to return to their home nation within 24 months. Because North Korea maintains a significant foreign labor workforce, with revenue flowing back into the nation by way of the government, these sanctions promise to cut Kim off from both fuel and one of his few remaining legitimate revenue streams. Further, the sanctions lay out how things like permitted oil imports will further diminish with any subsequent banned weapons tests.
Following Friday’s announcement, many have begun to wonder if these new sanctions might be enough to force a begrudging Kim to the negotiation table. How effective they are will depend on how quickly nations implement them, and although North Korea has received the message, they have not yet felt the sting of the security council resolution. So, at least for now, it’s business as usual from the Korean peninsula.
“The United States, completely terrified at our accomplishment … is getting more and more frenzied in the moves to impose the harshest-ever sanctions and pressure on our country,” a statement released to North Korea’s government owned media outlet, KCNA read, following Friday’s decision.
“We define this ‘sanctions resolution’ rigged up by the U.S. and its followers as a grave infringement upon the sovereignty of our Republic, as an act of war violating peace and stability in the Korean peninsula and the region and categorically reject the ‘resolution’,” the statement said.