File photo of the North Korean border (Photo : Getty Images)
The United Nations Security Council unanimously voted to impose new sanctions on North Korea in response to the latter's latest nuclear weapons test in September.
All members of the 15-member council agreed to adopt the resolution drafted by the United States to impose sanctions on coal exports coming from North Korea, Reuters reported.
Under the new resolution, U.N. member countries will cut down imports of coal from North Korea by about 60 percent. There would also be an annual sales cap of around $400.9 million to be imposed on the hermit country.
Coal is the North's single biggest export, with China believed to be the only country buying from the rogue state. The country reportedly imported more than 18.6 million tons from North Korea, up by 13 percent from 2015.
Under the U.N. resolution, China has agreed to cap its imports of North Korean coal to just a million tons, valuing at $53.5 million, by the end of the year.
Due to the two countries' close economic ties, China has traditionally sided with North Korea when it comes to the various sanctions being imposed on the latter by the U.N.
However, the Asian superpower has recently hinted on its intentions to sign the proposed resolution aimed to punish the country's government.
Experts see China's move to support the new sanctions as part of its efforts to position itself as an important global leader.
Aside from cap on coal importation, the resolution adopted by the council also called for the ban on the importation of metal ores, including zinc, nickel, silver, and copper, from North Korea, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The exports of metal ores bring in an estimated $100 million annually to the country. There will also be a ban on the export of decorative statues, which is also a major industry for the North.
Additionally, there will be restrictions on banking transactions against 10 individuals and 11 entities involved in North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.