The UNs ban on textile imports and exports will hit North Korean revenues by approximately US$800m

The UN's ban on textile imports and exports will hit North Korean revenues by approximately US$800m

North Korea is set to lose US$800m in revenues from textile and apparel exports after the United Nations yesterday announced tougher sanctions on on the rogue state.

A UN meeting saw the Security Council "unanimously agree" to a raft of new sanctions on the country, including a ban on the sale of natural gas liquids to the North-East Asian nation and on its textile and apparel exports. In addition, member states are prohibited from providing work authorisations to its nationals.

The move follows calls from the US and Japan earlier this month to punish the nation after it fired a ballistic missile over Japan into the Pacific Ocean at the end of August. 

US, Japan eye sanctions on North Korea textile exports 

The UN had already sanctioned North Korea's coal exports at the time, making textiles its most important source of foreign income.

In 2016, textile export value totalled US$752m according to Reuters, which cited data from the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA).

In yesterday's meeting, Japan's representative Koro Bessho said the resolution would strengthen the sanctions imposed on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to an unprecedented level.

"Today's resolution is an urgent call for the regime to change its behaviour," he said.

China is North Korea's biggest textile trading partner. A recent investigation found clothing imported by major apparel retailers and brands with 'Made in China' labels could have been made by low-paid garment workers in North Korea.

The research also suggested Chinese exports to North Korea rose almost 30% to $1.67bn in the first half of the year, largely driven by fabrics and other raw materials required to make clothing.

'Made In China' clothes could come from North Korea