A UN Security Council vote for new sanctions on North Korea is set to go ahead on Mondaybut not as originally intended by the U.S.
News agencies Reuters and AFP have seen the latest draft of the resolution, and it seems after four days of negotiations, several measures have been watered down in an effort to appease China and Russia, who had expressed opposition to increasing sanctions.
The financial and travel ban on Kim Jong-un that was in the original draft is now gone, and an oil and gas embargo has also been softened to be introduced progressively.
Wording on the measures concerning North Korean workers overseas and the inspection of ships suspected of carrying prohibited cargo have also been amended.
However, a full ban on the exports of textiles is set to remain in place.
With these changes, the vote is expected to pass unanimously.
This will further strengthen sanctions that are already considered the strongest ever in an attempt to squeeze the regime's resources and slow down its rapidly progressing nuclear weapons program.
Much attention will turn to how stringently China implements the measures, as Beijing continues to emphasize the need for talks, rather than sanctions or military action.
Meanwhile, in anticipation of the UN vote, North Korea's state-run news agency went on the offensive, accusing the U.S. of manipulating the Security Council to unjustly penalize the regime.
It warned that if Washington does push through its quote-"illegal and unlawful" sanctions, Pyongyang would make sure the U.S. pays its "due price."
Kwon Jang-ho, Arirang News.