November 24, 2017
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Trump to Urge UN to Impose North Korean Naval Blockade, Oil Embargo

"Any attempt to board or divert a North Korean vessel could trigger an exchange of fire."


The U.S. notified the United Nations Security Council late Friday of its plan to call a vote Monday on an aggressive new Trump administration resolution to impose new sanctions on North Korea.

The UK's Observer is reporting Saturday:

"The most striking language in the draft United Nations resolution seen by the Observer authorizes naval vessels of any UN member state to inspect North Korean ships suspected of carrying banned cargo and to use “all necessary measures to carry out such inspections”. The implications of such a resolution would be far-reaching. Any attempt to board or divert a North Korean vessel could trigger an exchange of fire."

The draft resolution would also block the country’s exports of textiles and ban employment of its guest workers by other countries, Bloomberg reports. The resolution also seeks to freeze North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s assets, according to the report.

Such a dramatic tightening of the economic vice is likely to meet resistance from China, which is anxious to avoid driving its embattled neighbor to the point of complete collapse; and Russia, which is promoting itself as a broker in the Korean standoff and has suggested that a new set of sanctions is “premature,” according to the Observer.

“Up to now, the Chinese and the Russians have tried to keep on giving the US just enough to keep Trump playing the UN game,” said Richard Gowan, an expert on the UN at the European Council for Foreign Relations. “The question is what happens with an extraordinarily hardline resolution and US pressure to do something quickly.”

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, requested that the UN Security Council vote on the draft resolution on September 11th. To pass, a UN resolution would need nine votes in favor and no vetoes by any of the 15-member Security Council's permanent members, the United States, Britain, France, Russia, or China.

Professor Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law,  describes blockades under international and US law as: “belligerent measures taken by a nation (to) prevent passage of vessels or aircraft to and from another country. Customary international law recognizes blockades as an act of war because of the belligerent use of force even against third party nations in enforcing the blockade. Blockades as acts of war have been recognized as such in the Declaration of Paris of 1856 and the Declaration of London of 1909 that delineate the international rules of warfare.”


This article, originally appeared at Common Dreams, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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