The resolution is created to accomplish six major goals: cap North Korea's oil imports, ban textile exports, end additional overseas laborer contracts, suppress smuggling efforts, stop joint ventures with other nations and sanction designated North Korean government entities, according to a U.S. official familiar with negotiations.
In one case, a Singapore-registered real-estate management company with no known offices or webpage was "facilitating the laundering of funds for North Korea financial facilitators and sanctioned entities" by working with Russian partners to buy nearly $7 million worth of diesel fuel. "But I'm not sure that they will really have much effect on the nuclear weapons and missile programs, given the priority that those initiatives must have for the DPRK leadership".
News of the smuggling operations comes amid a unanimous vote from the UN Security Council in response to North Korea's sixth and most powerful nuclear test on September 3.
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said the new sanctions would "starve the regime" into stopping its nuclear program. "The latest [Security Council] resolution represents the global community's renewed commitment not to tolerate the North's nuclear and missile development", the government said, adding, "It also sends a grave warning to the North Korean regime that its continued reckless provocations will only end up deepening its economic isolation and diplomatic pressure". North Korea gets almost all of its oil supply from China, with a much smaller amount coming from Russian Federation or the open market.
The US is calling for an oil embargo on Pyongyang, an assets freeze on leader Kim Jong-un, but also an end to textile exports and to payments made to North Korean guest workers.
Ambassador Han Tae Song also lashed out at the United States during a session of the U.N.'s Conference on Disarmament, saying North Korea denounces Washington's "evil intention" and would "make sure the USA pays a due price". "The North Korean regime has not yet passed the point of no-return", Haley told the council.
Besides exchanges, FireEye said an English-language bitcoin news website was breached by North Korea, which would likely allow hackers to identify people visiting the site.
Textiles were North Korea's second-biggest export after coal and other minerals in 2016, totaling $752 million, according to data from the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency.
Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said it was vital to put pressure on North Korea through additional sanctions, including blocking or slowing its fuel supplies.
Since 2008, photographer Eric Lafforgue ventured to North Korea six times.
China's United Nations ambassador urged the council to adopt the freeze-for-freeze proposal and urged the U.S.to pledge not to seek regime change or North Korea's collapse.
He said so far he did not have evidence that Kim Jong Un's regime has targeted cryptocurrency exchanges outside of South Korea, but did not rule out the possibility in the future. Russia's envoy said Washington's unwillingness to have U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres try to resolve the dispute "gives rise to very serious questions in our minds".