North Korea Suffers Another Sanctions Blow
North Korea is paying a high price again for defying the call to end its proliferation of nuclear and ballistic programs as the UN security Council imposed new sanctions against the communist country.
The UN security council unanimously passed a resolution against North Korea Friday after the regime launched its ninth ballistic missile test of the year.
The new sanctions included a travel ban and asset freeze on high-profile North Korean officials and state entities that deal with the nuclear program.
In addition, the resolution targeted state banks.
This is not the first time the UN Security Council imposed sanctions against North Korea. In fact, the council has strengthened its measures since it imposed sanctions in 2006 when the regime first launch its nuclear programmes.
Calling To Support the Sanctions
To put a halt to the regime’s strong defiance of calls to end its nuclear program, US Ambassador Nikki Haley urged security council members to enforce the new sanctions.
“The security council is sending a clear message to North Korea today – stop firing ballistic missiles or face the consequences,” Haley said after the vote.
Ambassador Haley added in a statement, “Countries must also do more to break up North Korean smuggling rings, and cut off the sources of funding North Korea uses to pay for the development of weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them.”
The new sanctions targeted senior officials directly responsible for the regime’s proliferation activities. Among the 14 North Korean officials is Cho Il-u, who leads Pyongyang’s foreign espionage operations.
The sanctions also targeted senior members of North Korea’s Workers’ Party and leaders of trading firms funding Pyongyang’s military programme.
To cripple the financing body of the regime’s nuclear program, North Korea’s Koryo Bank and two trading firms were also added to the list.
US On Denuclearizing North Korea
The United States remains committed to a denuclearized North Korea that respects the rights of its citizens.
In June 2009, the United Nations unanimously adopted resolution 1874, imposing stricter sanctions on the recalcitrant regime.
That resolution has 34 points, the first of which “Condemns in the strongest terms the nuclear test conducted by the DPRK on 25 May 2009 (local time) in violation and flagrant disregard of its relevant resolutions, in particular resolutions 1695 (2006) and 1718 (2006), and the statement of its President of 13 April 2009 (S/PRST/2009/7).”
Since the adoption of Resolution 1874, countries have intercepted and seized tons of contraband cargo, including a massive arms shipment uncovered by Thailand in December. These interdictions show that some countries are taking seriously their obligations to enforce these tough new measures. The United States will continue to press on sanctions implementation until there is concrete, verifiable progress on denuclearization.