Saturday, 3 June 2017

UN extends North Korea sanctions in 'clear message' to Pyongyang



The United Nations Security Council has voted unanimously to expand sanctions against North Korea to include 14 more people and four organisations.
 
The US-drafted resolution has imposed a global travel ban and asset freeze on those added to the blacklist, which previously contained 39 individuals and 42 North Korean entities.


Among the new names targeted are the Koryo Bank and Strategic Rocket Force of the Korean People's Army, as well as the head of Pyongyang's overseas spying operations.


It was the first time since President Donald Trump took office that America and China - Pyongyang's only major ally - agreed to adopt such a resolution.


US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the council was sending a "clear message to North Korea today - stop firing ballistic missiles or face the consequences".


While she said the US would "continue to seek a peaceful, diplomatic resolution", she made clear they were "prepared to counteract North Korean aggression through other means, if necessary".


The public vote has been seen as a clear message to Pyongyang that the council is unhappy with their repeated defiance of the UN ban on ballistic missile launches.


Pyongyang has carried out 12 ballistic missile tests this year, as it attempts to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the US mainland.


As tensions have increased between Pyongyang and Washington, the US has been pressing China to rein in Kim Jong Un's nuclear programme.
 
 
Previously it was thought that China would only consider new sanctions on Pyongyang if North Korea conducted a long-range missile launch or another nuclear test.


US defence secretary James Mattis said the US was encouraged by China's efforts to restrain North Korea, and that the threat from North Korea was "clear and present".


The Chinese ambassador described the situation as "complex and sensitive" but said there was "a critical window of opportunity" to seek a resolution.


Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has voiced support for the unanimous UN decision and called on North Korea to refrain from repeated nuclear tests and missile launches.


The Japanese defence minister said the threat had "entered a new stage" and urged the North to "abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs" and "cease its provocative actions".





SKY        News.