South Korea on Tuesday welcomed the U.N. Security Council's adoption of a set of fresh sanctions against North Korea, saying the move is sending a "grave" warning to Pyongyang that its continued provocations will only deepen its diplomatic and economic challenges.
On Monday (U.S. time), the Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2375 against North Korea that includes a freeze on its imports of crude oil at current levels of 4 million barrels a year and a cap on imports of refined petroleum products at 2 million barrels annually.
"The latest UNSC resolution represents the international community's renewed commitment not to tolerate the North's nuclear and missile development," the Seoul government said in a statement.
"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," it added.
The UNSC adopted the latest resolution in the wake of the North's sixth and most powerful nuclear detonation test conducted on Sept. 3. This marked the ninth sanctions resolution the council has adopted against the North since 2006, when it carried out its first nuclear test.
The presidential office welcomed the new sanctions, predicting that they would cut the North's annual export revenue by more than 90 percent.
"The ban on textile exports, coupled with the already imposed sanctions on coal, mineral and seafood exports, will have the effect of curtailing the North's total annual exports by more than 90 percent," Lee Sang-chul, deputy chief of the National Security Office, told reporters.
Lee then urged the North to "take the international community's stern warning seriously" and return to the dialogue table.
Park Soo-hyun, the presidential spokesman, hailed the latest sanctions resolution as underscoring the international solidarity against the North's unceasing provocations.
"Today's resolution represents the international community's consensus and all-out support for sanctions stronger than the previous Resolution 2371 in response to North Korea's nuclear test," Park said in a statement.
"North Korea should realize that its reckless challenge of international peace would only bring about even stronger sanctions," he said. "North Korea should no longer test the stern resolve of the international community. The only way for it to get out of diplomatic isolation and economic pressure is to come back to the dialogue table for complete, irreversible and verifiable nuclear dismantlement." (Yonhap News)