On Saturday, the United Nations Security Council unanimously voted to impose new sanctions on North Korea. The vote came after the rogue regime successfully tested far-reaching intercontinental ballistic missiles last month.
The U.N. measure was the first time in recent memory that the international community came together to place pressure on Kim Jong Un’s nuclear ambitions.
Here are 5 things you need to know about our new sanctions against North Korea.
1. China endorsed the sanctions bill and refused to veto the measure. China’s cooperative stance is by far the most significant development to come from the U.N. vote. China is the hand that feeds North Korea — literally. The isolated North Korean state relies on the Chinese for trade and basic commodities. As a result, China’s endorsement of sanctions is a major blow to the Kim regime. According to experts, the Trump administration played its hand brilliantly, forcing a stubborn China to make hard decisions.
"It's quite impressive how the Americans got the Chinese to agree to such comprehensive sanctions," Yun Sun, an Asia geopolitics expert at the Stimson Center, told Business Insider.
According to Sun, the United States pressured China to vote for sanctions by threatening to sanction Chinese banks that conduct financial transactions with the North Koreans.
2. The sanctions hit North Korea where it hurts, cutting off key exports. “The measures aim to make it harder for North Korea to make money across the globe,” reports CNN. “They target North Korea's primary exports — including coal, iron and seafood — and attempt to cut off its additional revenue streams by targeting some of its banks and joint ventures with foreign companies.”
3. North Korea promised extreme retaliation against the United States. The Daily Wire reported, “This week, the regime threatened to seek revenge 'thousands-fold' against the United States after the United Nations security council vote to unanimously impose new sanctions on North Korea and cut exports by $1 billion.”
4. North Korea said that the sanctions won’t bring them to the negotiating table. "We will, under no circumstances, put the nukes and ballistic rockets on the negotiating table," said North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho Monday.
He added: "Possession of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles is a legitimate option for self-defence in the face of a clear and real nuclear threat posed by the U.S."
5. Sanctions haven’t worked in the past; they’re unlikely to work now. North Korea has always privileged its nuclear program above all other concerns, including the welfare of its own people. Simply put, Kim Jong Un doesn’t care if his people starve to death. He is resolute about becoming a nuclear power and he’s willing to sacrifice anything and anybody to achieve that goal. The United States has tried every option in its diplomatic tool kit. In fact, when a naïve President Bill Clinton struck a “deal” to end the North Korean nuclear program in the 1990s, the rogue regime continued to accelerate the development of nuclear weapons. Today, the North Koreans are within one year of harnessing the technology necessary to strike the continental United States.
“The belief that sanctions are going to bring North Korea to its knees have been proven to be false assumptions,” Yun Sun told Business Insider.