Toughest sanctions on record

UNITED NATIONS • The latest sanctions to force Mr Kim Jong Un to give up North Korea's nuclear programme are the toughest on record.

Experts on North Korea said the new measures had the potential to dissuade Mr Kim from further escalating tensions with more missile and nuclear tests, but they were cautious about predicting his behaviour. Nevertheless, some analysts believe this new round of sanctions could have a major impact on the country's economy.

Here's a look at what the latest sanctions involve:

CURBS ON PETROLEUM EXPORTS

Deliveries of petroleum products will be cut by almost 90 per cent, to the equivalent of 500,000 barrels a year, from Jan 1.

The new resolution would also cap crude imports at current levels of about four million barrels annually.

The cap on oil would be devastating for North Korea's haulage industry and for North Koreans who use generators at home, said Mr Peter Ward, a columnist for NK News, a website that tracks North Korea.

SEIZE SUSPICIOUS VESSELS

To prevent North Korea from circumventing sanctions, all countries were authorised to seize, inspect and impound ships in their ports and territorial waters that are suspected of carrying illegal cargo, such as coal and fuel, to and from North Korea.

But the resolution does not permit countries to hail or board North Korean ships in international waters, which the Trump administration proposed in September.

REPATRIATION OF NORTH KOREANS

Thousands of North Koreans working abroad, many of them in Russia and China, will be repatriated within 24 months, instead of 12 months as first proposed, by the end of 2019.

The forced repatriation of its overseas workers would cut off vital sources of foreign currency.

BAN ON FOOD, MACHINERY EXPORTS

In a bid to further choke North Korea's external sources of funding, the resolution also seeks to ban North Korean exports of food products, machinery, electrical equipment, earth, stone, wood and vessels.

NYTIMES, REUTERS, BLOOMBERG, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 24, 2017, with the headline 'Toughest sanctions on record'. Print Edition | Subscribe