|Members of the UN Security Council vote to impose tough new sanction on North Korea, on Wednesday. - AFP Photo
WASHINGTON - The UN Security Council unanimously has adopted the toughest sanctions ever imposed on North Korea in response to its fourth nuclear test and rocket launch.
US President Barack Obama said the package of broad measures were "a firm, united, and appropriate response by the international community" to the January 6 nuclear test and February 7 rocket launch.
"The international community, speaking with one voice, has sent Pyongyang a simple message: North Korea must abandon these dangerous programs and choose a better path for its people," Obama said in a statement.
The resolution requires countries to take the unprecedented step of inspecting all cargo to and from North Korea, impose trade restrictions and bar vessels suspected of carrying illegal goods for North Korea from ports.
It provides for a ban on exports of coal, iron and iron ore, gold, titanium and rare earth minerals from North Korea, and prohibits the supply of aviation fuel including rocket fuel to the reclusive country.
Banking restrictions will be tightened and governments will be required to ban flights of any plane suspected of carrying contraband destined for North Korea.
"These are among the toughest measures we have agreed against any country in the world, certainly the toughest ever against the DPRK" (North Korea), said British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft.
"This marks a significant shift on the Security Council as a whole," he said.
A total of 16 individuals and 12 entities were added to a UN sanctions blacklist, including North Korea's NADA space agency and its spy agency, the Reconnaissance General Bureau. - AFP