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US revises draft UN sanctions proposal on N. Korea: diplomats


United Nations (United States) (AFP)

The United States released a revised draft for new sanctions against North Korea on Sunday, diplomats said, making concessions to Russia and China as it seeks to convince the UN Security Council to punish Pyongyang for its recent nuclear test.

The Security Council is set to vote Monday on the US-led effort to impose harsher new sanctions against North Korea, which has defied multiple measures to rein in its weapons programme.

The new draft moderates the toughest parts of the original proposal, with a potentially crippling oil embargo on North Korea to be introduced progressively, diplomats said.

Following four days of tough negotiations, notably with Beijing and Moscow, it eliminated an assets freeze on leader Kim Jong-Un, according to diplomats, which had been called for in the earlier draft.

Among other concessions the new text is slightly softer when it comes to the situation of North Korean guest workers and the inspection by force of ships suspected of carrying cargo prohibited by the UN.

The new draft includes a textile ban, which Washington had pushed for originally.

The proposed raft of sanctions come as UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said in an interview the showdown over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile program was the world's worst crisis "in years" and had left him deeply worried.

The purpose of the latest measure is to isolate North Korea, leaving it with little choice but to come to the negotiation table.

North Korea for its part has shot back that it would inflict "the greatest pain and suffering" if new measures are passed.

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