The UN Security Council's five veto powers are close to approving new sanctions on North Korea to cut the isolated state's earnings from exports by more than a quarter, principally by targeting its coal exports to China, diplomats said on Friday.
The US-drafted resolution, in response to North Korea's fifth nuclear test in September, would set a UN cap on North Korean coal exports with the aim of cutting hard currency revenues by at least $700 million.
The resolution would also restrict North Korea's maritime and financial sectors. If successful, it could cut the country's $3 billion in annual export earnings by at least $800 million, UN Security Council diplomats said.
The restrictions on coal would bar exports connected to individuals involved in North Korea's weapons programs, said the diplomats, who did want to be identified as discussions were still under way. The new resolution would also target other North Koreans individuals and entities, they said.
Diplomats said on Wednesday that the United States and China had agreed on new UN sanctions to impose on North Korea, but Russia was delaying action on a draft resolution.