The UN security council has backed a plan to squeeze Pyongyang's access to hard currency cutting off hundreds of millions of dollars that could be funneled into its nuclear war chest every year. Graham Mackay reports.
A new wave of sanctions - tightening the noose around North Korea. The UN security council on Wednesday backing a plan to squeeze Pyongyang's access to hard currency cutting off hundreds of millions of dollars that could be funneled into its nuclear war chest every year. Top of the agenda - crippling the country's lucrative coal exports... But there are many other North Korean money spinners that'll also be affected. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS REPORTER IN SEOUL, JAMES PEARSON, SAYING: "Some of the more interesting exports by North Korea to have been targetted by this new round of UN sanctions are things like statues and overseas networks. North Korea actually exports a lot of its statues - it's obviously very well known for producing statues of the Kim family. To other countries within Africa especially where there's still a market for these large kind of social realist statues. So they've been doing that for quite some time now, raising millions of dollars in the process. It's also going to focus on their diplomatic missions. We know for a fact there have been several cases whereby North Korean diplomats have been caught trying to use diplomatic bags to move things like gold or large amounts of cash or even ivory. So this is slightly different to previous sanctions that we've seen in that it's really targetting North Korea's overseas networks a lot more than previous attempts." The UN security council has unanimously backed the new sanctions - meaning even North Korea's only major ally and trading partner China is on board. But that doesn't mean it's completely happy. Beijing making it clear that although China is against a nuclear North Korea, it blames the U.S. and the South for scaling up military exercises. And provoking tensions across the most heavily guarded border on the planet.