According to media reports, the council’s member states voted unanimously on Friday to impose a global travel ban and asset freeze on 14 officials, including the head of North’s overseas espionage operations, and four entities purportedly linked to Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs.
The voting session came after weeks of negotiations between the US and China on the scope of the new bans. China believes that instead of seeking tougher sanctions on the North, particularly pursued by Washington, the world should find a peaceful diplomatic solution thorough restarting talks with Pyongyang so as to prevent the tensions from exacerbating in the Korean Peninsula.
The UNSC has already slapped the North with six rounds of sanctions, but the White House and its allies are pushing for even tougher measures in an attempt to halt the increasing wave of missile tests by Pyongyang.
The North’s latest missile launch came less than a week after it test-fired a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range missile, which landed in the sea between North Korea and Japan on May 14. It has also been making efforts to upgrade its weapon systems, and has recently developed a long-range missile capable of striking the US mainland.
The North says it is developing arms as deterrence against the US threat, and that it would not abandon its missile and nuclear programs unless Washington ended its hostility toward Pyongyang.