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HRWF (23.12.2017) – All countries must expel North Korean workers and safety monitors by the end of 2019, according to the new sanctions adopted on 22 December by the UN Security Council.

The resolution expresses concern that earnings from these workers are being used to support the country’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. According to the U.S. Mission, there are nearly 100,000 overseas North Korean workers, with about 50,000 in China and 30,000 in Russia.

Poland is therefore to send back its over 400 North Korean overseas workers to Pyongyang and Italy its two North Korean football players.

The UN Security Council unanimously approved tough new sanctions against North Korea on Friday in response to its latest launch of a ballistic missile that Pyongyang says is capable of reaching anywhere on the U.S. mainland.

The resolution adopted by the council includes sharply lower limits on North Korea’s refined oil imports, the return home of all North Koreans working overseas within 24 months, and a crackdown on ships smuggling banned items including coal and oil to and from the country. 

The resolution, drafted by the United States and negotiated with the North’s closest ally China, drew criticism from Russia for the short time the 13 other council nations had to consider the draft, and last-minute changes to the text. Two of those changes were extending the deadline for North Korean workers to return home from 12 months to 24 months — which Russia said was the minimum needed — and reducing the number of North Koreans being put on the UN sanctions blacklist from 19 to 15.

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