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KUALA LUMPUR — In response to North Korea’s latest nuclear weapons test, the U.N. Security Council has passed a resolution (1874) that expands and tightens the sanctions specified in its earlier resolution (1718), passed in response to North Korea’s first nuclear test in 2006. But it goes a step further and endorses “inspections” of vessels suspected of carrying prohibited items to or from North Korea. This could be a recipe for conflict.

To choke off its main source of foreign currency, the resolution imposes almost a complete embargo on the export and import of weapons from and to North Korea. It establishes detailed expectations and obligations for all states regarding the inspection of suspected prohibited cargo bound to or from North Korea on their territory or in their airports or ports.

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