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UN Security Council Backs Fresh Sanctions On North Korea

North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile Hwasong-14

The United Nations Security Council has voted unanimously to impose its toughest sanctions against North Korea to date over its missile program.

The fresh sanctions include a ban on exports worth over $1 billion -- a huge bite in North Korea’s total exports, valued at $3 billion last year.

North Korea tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July, claiming it now had the ability to launch a strike against the entire United States.

The sanctions step up the existing restrictions on coal, iron, and iron ore exports to a full ban and prohibit exports of lead, lead ore, and seafood.

The U.S.-drafted resolution also prohibits countries from increasing the current numbers of North Korean workers abroad, bans new joint ventures with North Korea, and any new investment in current joint ventures.

The resolution adds nine individuals and four entities to the UN blacklist, including North Korea's primary foreign exchange bank, subjecting them to a global asset freeze and travel ban.

After the vote, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said: "Further action is required. The United States is taking and will continue to take prudent defensive measures to protect ourselves and our allies."

North Korea has been under UN sanctions since 2006 over its ballistic-missile and nuclear programs. However, the sanctions have so far failed to deter Pyongyang from continuing with its missile development.

Based on reporting by Reuters, the BBC, and dpa