A nuclear armed North Korea was gradually heading for a confrontation with fears of a nuclear war looming large on the horizon and it was worrying the global community. Therefore, the United Nations Security Council took the decision to impose fresh sanctions to squeeze the economy of Pyongyang.

Both Russia and China have signed because they have realized that they cannot remain silent spectators in the event of a war. However, neither of them has a strong record of policing sanctions against North Korea. The worry for China stems from a fear that any action it takes could have repercussions and result in instability on its borders.

Effects of the sanctions

New York Times reports that the Trump administration has described the latest round of sanctions as the most severe and the reactions of North Korea would tend to suggest that it hurt. It could face heavy monetary losses due to trade restrictions and at a rough estimate, this could be around $1 billion annually, if China enforces it.

China has officially welcomed the new sanctions and in the opinion of the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing, such an action was necessary. At the United Nations, the Chinese ambassador also spoke in a similar vein and urged North Korea to turn over a new leaf and take care to reduce tension, not escalate it. It is obvious that no one wants to precipitate a nuclear war that would result in mass scale destruction.

The purpose of the sanctions is to exert pressure on the regime so that it comes to the negotiating table and ends its nuclear weapons program. All the parties are aware that this will not be an easy task because Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, feels that nuclear capabilities are crucial to him for defense of his country.

His adamant attitude leaves very little room for negotiation.

Reactions from North Korea

North Korea has threatened to retaliate strongly against the United States and said that it will never give up its nuclear arsenal. It has termed the sanctions to be a panic reaction. The foreign minister, Ri Yong-ho, denounced the sanctions in Manila at a regional ministerial meeting and added that the nukes and ballistic missiles will never be put on the negotiating table.

The US Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson was also present at the time.

The new sanctions are believed to be the result of two tests conducted by North Korea on its ICBM's that could reach the United States. This was a serious matter and called for drastic measures as a nuclear war would be a major catastrophe.