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The UN Security Council on Saturday unanimously backed a US-drafted resolution that significantly strengthened sanctions on North Korea, imposing a ban on exports aimed at depriving Pyongyang of $1 billion in annual revenue. It bans North Korean exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood and prohibits countries from hiring additional North Korean labourers.

China fears a spread of USA influence in the region, though China and the US agree on wanting to stop North Korea's nuclear development.

North Korea is determined to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the United States and officials in Washington say its latest test on Saturday showed it may be able to reach most of the country. The US-drafted resolution includes the strongest sanctions ever imposed in response to a North Korean ballistic missile test and targets its main exports, slashing their annual revenue by Dollars 1 billion. This represents one-third of its total exports previous year, estimated at $3 billion.

In response, Kang reiterated Seoul's stance that the THAAD deployment is a matter of "national defense" and called for communication to resolve the feud between the two countries.

USA and South Korean forces fire off missiles from the South's Hyunmu-2 Missile System and the US M20 Multiple Launch Rocket System.

Diplomats and sanctions experts have long warned that export revenues, even remittances from foreign workers, are cycled back to North Korea's military and nuclear programs.

"This resolution is the single largest economic sanctions package ever leveled against the North Korean regime", said Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations.

Pyongyang then reacted swiftly to the move, slamming Washington's unilateral economic punitive measure as a "criminal conduct" and vowing that U.S. sanctions will never work on North Korea.

Since 2008, photographer Eric Lafforgue ventured to North Korea six times.

China - North Korea's largest trading partner - also supported the tougher sanctions. North Korea's foreign minister is there, too.

Under the resolution, North Korea's Foreign Trade Bank, which handles foreign exchange, will be added the U.N.'s sanctions list that freezes the assets of targeted entities.

Trump hailed the vote - saying in a tweet that the sanctions will have "very big financial impact!" - and thanked Russian Federation and China for backing a measure that either could have halted with their United Nations veto.

Though Beijing repeated its call for the United States and North Korea to resume talks, the US said that was still premature, and rejected yet again a Chinese call for the U.S.to freeze joint military exercises with South Korea in exchange for the North halting nuclear development.

"When we look at the militarisation, the media focus is on militarisation of some features of China".

It adds nine North Koreans, mainly officials or representatives of companies and banks, to the United Nations sanctions blacklist, banning their travel and freezing their assets.

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