Nuclear Programme: US planning military attack on North Korea

How serious is the North Korean anthrax threat

How serious is the North Korean anthrax threat

The UN Security Council on Saturday morning (NZ time) unanimously voted for new sanctions on North Korea, citing its latest missile tests.

The resolution seeks to ban almost 90 percent of refined petroleum product exports to North Korea by capping them at 500,000 barrels a year and demands the repatriation of North Koreans working overseas within 12 months.

North Korea vehemently denied that it was developing biological weapons and said it would take revenge on the US for suggesting in a report that the East Asian country was "pursuing chemical and biological weapons which could also be delivered by missile".

North Korea has repeatedly defied Security Council resolutions to halt its nuclear weapons and missile testing.

"North Korea - a country that starves its own people - has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons that could threaten our homeland", the document said.

The 10 vessels had reportedly been conducting ship-to-ship transfers of refined petroleum products to North Korean vessels or transporting North Korean coal in violation of United Nations sanctions imposed over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programmes.

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They will be subjected to a global visa ban and assets freeze.

Anchor: Tensions continue to rise between North Korea and the rest of the world as Kim Jong-un asserts his country's nuclear capability and the United Nations seeks even stronger sanctions against the rogue regime. Japan holds the presidency of the Security Council this month.

French Ambassador Francois Delattre said the new sanctions would pile pressure on Pyongyang "not for the sake of pressure, but in order to push for a dialogue and to have better leverage for the negotiations and the political solution we need".

The proposal would limit crude oil imports to 4 million barrels per year.

The U.S. -drafted text was reportedly circulated to the 15-member council on Thursday.

The United States separately asked the council to blacklist 10 ships, including two Hong Kong-flagged vessels, for carrying banned cargo from North Korea.

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