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UN Security Council to meet on enforcing North Korea sanctions

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The UN Security Council will on Thursday hold a ministerial-level meeting on the threat from the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction that will focus on enforcing sanctions on North Korea, diplomats said.

The United States called the meeting that will be held during the annual General Assembly gathering of world leaders at the United Nations.

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss ways the Security Council can better enforce the resolutions it has adopted to prevent the spread of the world’s most dangerous weapons,” said a US concept note on the meeting obtained by AFP on Saturday.

The Security Council this week imposed a new raft of sanctions on North Korea, slapping an export ban on textiles, freezing work permits to North Korean guest workers and placing a cap on oil supplies.

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The impact of those sanctions depends largely on whether China, North Korea’s ally and main economic partner, will fully implement them and on Russia, which is hosting tens of thousands of North Korean workers.

During the council meeting, countries will address ways to stem missile and nuclear technology to “the world’s most dangerous actors,” the note said.

The meeting, held at a ministerial level, will highlight global unity in confronting the crisis with North Korea, diplomats said.

North Korea on Friday fired an intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan, in response to a new round of UN sanctions imposed over its sixth nuclear test.

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The council met behind closed doors on Friday and condemned the “highly-provocative” missile launch, but it did not threaten further sanctions.

Japan stressed that the focus must be on fully implementing the recent sanctions resolutions to put pressure on North Korea to come to the table to negotiate an end to its nuclear and missile programs.

If fully implemented, the sanctions would deny North Korea more than $2 billion in revenue from exports and other economic activities, according to US officials.

China and Russia have been pushing a proposal to kick-start talks with North Korea with a freeze on the country’s nuclear and missile tests in exchange for a suspension of US-South Korea military drills.

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The United States has rejected that proposal as “insulting” and maintains it will only enter into talks with Pyongyang if it halts all missile and nuclear tests unilaterally.

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