UN pushes for ban of yachts to North

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UN pushes for ban of yachts to North

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Susan Rice, permanent representative of the United States to the United Nations, speaks during a press conference at the UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday. The UN Security Council on Tuesday met behind closed doors on how to respond to the third nuclear test conducted last month by North Korea. [XINHUA/NEWSIS]

A UN Security Council sanctions resolution to be voted on later this week calls for an explicit ban on the sale to Pyongyang of items coveted by North Korea’s ruling elite, such as yachts and racing cars, a council diplomat said on Tuesday.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice circulated the draft resolution, which was agreed between Washington and Beijing after three weeks of bilateral negotiations, to the 15-nation council earlier on Tuesday. The new sanctions are a response to North Korea’s Feb. 12 nuclear test.

The export of luxury goods to North Korea has been prohibited since 2006 when the council imposed sanctions on Pyongyang after its first nuclear test. But the council never defined what a “luxury good” was, leaving it up to individual states to decide what constitutes a luxury item, and often enabling North Koreans to subvert the ban.

The draft, which the council hopes to vote on by Thursday, calls for ending delivery of specific items to North Korea, such as certain types of jewelry, yachts, luxury automobiles and racing cars.

Pyongyang was hit with UN sanctions for its 2006 and 2009 nuclear tests, measures that were subsequently tightened and expanded after several rocket launches. In addition to the luxury goods ban, there is an arms embargo on North Korea, and it is forbidden from trading in nuclear and missile technology. Reuters

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