United Nations to Consider Additional North Korea Sanctions Drafted by US

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un with the newly developed intercontinental ballistic missile Hwasong-15 which was

China Holds Up US Call for Action Against Ships Said to Aid North Korea

The United States plans to propose new sanctions for North Korea in a draft resolution to be presented for a vote at the United Nations Security Council on Friday, Dec. 22.

Countries are required to ban blacklisted ships from entering their ports. These first four vessels - the Jie Shun, Tong San 2, Hao Fan 6 and Petrel 8 - were blacklisted on suspicion of involvement in carriage of prohibited goods.

The vessels are accused of "conducting illegal ship-to-ship transfers of refined petroleum products to North Korean vessels or illegally transporting North Korean coal to other countries for exports", the United States said in its proposal.

In addition to these four ships, past year the U.N. Security Council blacklisted 31 North Korean vessels under a different sanctions resolution, then de-listed five after objections from China.

On November 29, North Korea launched what it claimed was its new type of intercontinental ballistic missile, the Hwasong 15, which can hit anywhere on the United States mainland.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said after talks with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha that China-North Korea's neighbor and only big ally - was implementing Security Council resolutions but could do more.

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Quoting a diplomatic source, Reuters reported that the measures seek to slash almost 90 percent of refined petroleum products exported to North Korea.

The UN has banned North Korea from exporting coal, iron, lead, textiles and seafood and has restricted joint ventures and blacklisted a number of North Korean companies in response to Pyongyang's missile and nuclear tests.

The US is also asking China to cut off oil supplies to North Korea as a way to compel it to stop work on its nuclear weapons program.

Last week, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told the council that the "pressure campaign must and will continue until denuclearization is achieved" as he backtracked from his offer to hold unconditional talks with Pyongyang.

The US has identified 10 ships it says are violating worldwide sanctions on North Korea.

China routinely says it is meeting its United Nations obligations on North Korea and has urged "all sides" to pursue dialogue.

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