The United States and China reached an agreement to impose tougher sanctions against North Korea on Thursday. The United States submitted a draft resolution that would extensively increase pressure on North Korea in response to its latest nuclear test and missile launch.

The draft resolution is submitted after intense negotiation between the United States and China, reports The New York Times. The resolution is circulated among the members of United Nations Security Council and diplomats said that voting on it would be done in a few days. China, previously, agreed only on banning weapons transfers and limited sanctions against those who were related to the nuclear program.

However, diplomats announced that China had agreed to the draft. Notably, the two countries disagreed on how strongly they should penalize North Korea for its violation of previous Security Council’s resolution, stated DW.

It is also noteworthy, that China opposed when US offered aid for developing South Korea’s missile defence system as the country feared that it would be used against its own missile launch system.

“We are opposed to any nuclear testing and the launch testing of ballistic missile technology and we hope this resolution will help to prevent further occurrences of this nature,” said China’s Ambassador Liu Jieyi.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said, “It is a major upgrade and there will be, provided it goes forward, pressure on more points, tougher, more comprehensive, more sectors. It’s breaking new ground in a whole host of ways.”

Power made the statement before the close-door meeting of the UN Security Council. About the nature of the sanctions she commented, “strongest set of sanctions imposed by the Security Council in more than two decades.”

The proposed  tougher sanctions would ban the sale of small arms and other conventional weapons to North Korea. Export of coal, iron, gold, titanium and other rare minerals will also be limited and in some cases completely banned. Samantha Power emphasized that the sanctions would mainly target the elites and not the common people of the country.

It is still a matter of speculation whether the proposed  resolution would be able to restrict North Korea’s nuclear aspirations. In the past there were also efforts to stop the progress of its nuclear program. However, they were not successful.