UN imposes harsh new sanctions on NKorea over its nuclear program

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
UN Security Council to Vote on Tighter Sanctions Against North Korea

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) -- North Korea faces harsh new U.N. sanctions to starve it of money for its nuclear weapons program following a unanimous Security Council vote on Wednesday on a resolution drafted by the United States and Pyongyang's ally China.

The resolution, which dramatically expands existing sanctions, follows North Korea's latest nuclear test on Jan. 6 and a Feb. 7 rocket launch that Washington and its allies said used banned ballistic missile technology. Pyongyang said it was a peaceful satellite launch.

See more from the United Nations vote below:

7 PHOTOS
United Nations sanctions against North Korea
See Gallery
UN imposes harsh new sanctions on NKorea over its nuclear program
Members of the UN Security Council vote during a United Nations Security Council meeting on sanctions against North Korea March 2, 2016 at the United Nations in New York. / AFP / Don EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
Members of the UN Security Council vote during a United Nations Security Council meeting on sanctions against North Korea March 2, 2016 at the United Nations in New York. / AFP / Don EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power (L) speaks to Japan's Ambassador to the UN Motohide Yoshikawa before a vote during a United Nations Security Council meeting on sanctions against North Korea March 2, 2016 at the United Nations in New York. / AFP / Don EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
Japan's Ambassador to the UN Motohide Yoshikawa (R) speaks with France's Ambassador to the UN François Delattre before a vote during a United Nations Security Council meeting on sanctions against North Korea March 2, 2016 at the United Nations in New York. / AFP / Don EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
South Korea's delegation to the UN lead by Ambassador Oh Joon (R) talkS before a vote during a United Nations Security Council meeting on sanctions against North Korea March 2, 2016 at the United Nations in New York. / AFP / Don EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power speaks to members of the UN Security Council after a vote during a United Nations Security Council meeting on sanctions against North Korea March 2, 2016 at the United Nations in New York. / AFP / Don EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power said the sanctions go further than any U.N. sanctions regime in two decades and aim to cut off funds for North Korea's nuclear and other banned weapons programs.

All cargo going to and from North Korea must now be inspected and North Korean trade representatives in Syria, Iran and Vietnam are among 16 individuals added to a U.N. blacklist, along with 12 North Korean entities.

Previously states only had to inspect such shipments if they had reasonable grounds to believe they contained illicit goods.

"Virtually all of the DPRK's (North Korea) resources are channeled into its reckless and relentless pursuit of weapons of mass destruction," Power told the council after the vote, adding that the cargo inspection provisions are "hugely significant."

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the 15-nation council's move, saying in a statement that Pyongyang "must return to full compliance with its international obligations."

North Korea has been under U.N. sanctions since 2006 because of its four nuclear tests and multiple rocket launches.

After nearly two months of bilateral negotiations that at one point involved U.S. President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, China agreed to support the unusually tough measures intended to persuade its close ally to abandon its atomic weapons program.

China's Ambassador Liu Jieyi called for a return to dialogue, saying: "Today's adoption should be a new starting point and a paving stone for political settlement of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula."

However, he reiterated Beijing's concerns about the possible deployment of an advanced U.S. missile system in South Korea.

"At this moment all parties concerned should avoid actions that will further aggravate tension on the ground," he said. "China opposes the deployment of the THAAD anti-missile system ... because such an action harms the strategic and security interests of China and other countries of the region."

He was referring to the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system.

There was no immediate reaction from the North Korean U.N. mission. The official North Korean news agency KCNA said on Monday the proposed sanctions were "a wanton infringement on (North Korea's) sovereignty and grave challenge to it."

RELATED: Missile tests by North Korea

1 PHOTOS
North Korea Rocket launch
See Gallery
UN imposes harsh new sanctions on NKorea over its nuclear program
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Shortly after the U.N. move, the U.S. Treasury Department said it was blacklisting two entities and 10 individuals for ties to North Korea's government and its banned weapons programs, and said the State Department was also blacklisting three entities and two individuals for similar reasons.

The new U.N. sanctions close a gap in the U.N. arms embargo on Pyongyang by banning all weapons imports and exports.

The Security Council's list of explicitly banned luxury goods has been expanded to include luxury watches, aquatic recreational vehicles, snowmobiles worth more than $2,000, lead crystal items and recreational sports equipment.

There is also an unprecedented ban on the transfer to North Korea of any item that could directly contribute to the operational capabilities of its armed forces, such as trucks that could be modified for military purposes.

The new U.N. measures also blacklist 31 ships owned by North Korean shipping firm Ocean Maritime Management Company (OMM).

Added to the U.N. sanctions list was the National Aerospace Development Agency, or NADA, the body responsible for February's rocket launch.

Newly blacklisted individuals include a senior official in North Korea's long-range missile program, senior officials at NADA, officials for Tanchon Commercial Bank in Syria and Vietnam, and Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation (KOMID) representatives in Iran and Syria.

An earlier draft would have blacklisted 17 individuals but the proposed designation of a KOMID representative in Russia was dropped from the final version of the resolution.

More from AOL.com:
Supreme Court hears high-stakes Texas abortion case
Huge quake strikes off Indonesia but tsunami warnings canceled
Colorado voters complain of Super Tuesday chaos

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners