The UN Security Council(UNSC) has unanimously adopted new sanctions against North Korea, cutting oil supplies to the North by around 30 percent and banning exports of North Korean textiles.
The UNSC held a plenary session on Monday and unanimously adopted Resolution 2375 in response to North Korea's sixth nuclear test on September third.
South Korea welcomed the adoption of the new resolution, which called for the complete dismantlement of the North's nuclear and missile programs and a stop to any more provocations.
These calls have already been disregarded by the North, however, as it fired a ballistic missile over Japan into the Pacific Ocean on Friday morning. In response to the provocation, the South Korean military immediately fired Hyunmoo-2 ballistic missiles into the East Sea, seeking to prove its capability to strike the North Korean launch site in Pyongyang.
Resolution 2375 is the ninth UNSC resolution against North Korea to date and the third this year. The last resolution was adopted last month after the North tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July.
The new resolution marks the first time the Security Council has targeted oil in its sanctions against Pyongyang.
However, the latest resolution was significantly weakened compared to the first U.S.-authored draft, which initially proposed blacklisting North Korean leader Kim Jong-un along with a full-fledged oil embargo.
The new sanctions include a freeze on North Korean imports of crude oil at the current level of four million barrels a year and a cap on imports of refined petroleum products at two million barrels annually, or about half the current level.
UN diplomats and experts estimate the restrictions will cut the North's oil consumption by about 30 percent.
The resolution also includes a ban on exports of North Korean textiles and the use of North Korean laborers, blocking the North's main sources of income. North Korea is known to be earning about 800 million dollars from textile exports and 200 million dollars from overseas labor annually.
With coal exports blocked, textiles had become a vital source of income for the North and were the number one export item to China in the first half of this year.
In addition, the resolution will allow UN member nations to search suspicious North Korean vessels on the high seas.
One individual and three key organizations under the North Korean Workers' Party have also been newly blacklisted and are subject to asset freezes and travel bans.
However, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his sister Yo-jong are not included on the list.
Yet again, cooperation from China and Russia is considered to be key to the effectiveness of the new sanctions, but the North’s latest missile launch suggests that even support from these two nations may not be enough to prevent further military provocations.