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May 24, 2016 22:46

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07:04 2 March 2016

U.N. to vote on N. Korea sanctions Wed., draft revised to ease fuel ban

NEW YORK, March 1, Kyodo

The United Nations Security Council will vote on Wednesday morning to adopt a new sanctions resolution against North Korea, the U.S. mission said on Tuesday.

The vote on the U.S.-drafted document was expected Tuesday after the U.S. had made a request to council chair Angola to take action. Russia invoked a 24-hour review procedure to go over the document's proposals, the U.S. mission said.

The draft resolution, meanwhile, underwent a few changes from the initial version presented last week by the United States. It now includes an exception to the export ban on aviation fuel and a Russia-based North Korean official of an arms exporting body has been removed from the document's blacklist.

The new resolution is in response to North Korea's latest nuclear test in January and its rocket launch the following month using ballistic missile technology, both of which are banned for the country under past resolutions.

In addition to tightening existing financial sanctions against North Korea, the resolution requires inspection of all cargo in transit to or from the country, among other measures.

On the aviation fuel ban, the final version says it does not apply to the sale or supply of fuel to civilian passenger aircraft outside North Korea for flights to the country and return service.

Removed from the list of individuals subject to a travel ban and asset freeze is a representative in Russia of Korea Mining Development Trading Corp. (KOMID), an entity known for exporting weapons from North Korea. A total of 16 individuals are blacklisted in the revised draft.

These changes surfaced after Russia had said it needed time to go through the draft last week, while all 14 of the other council members were ready for its adoption.

Regarding the draft, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters Tuesday that they had a few "issues to take care of" and discussed them with the U.S. delegation. "I think they accommodated some of our concerns," he said.

On the KOMID official, the envoy said, "He is not even in Russia and that is the problem."

==Kyodo

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