UN expands North Korea sanctions in response to missile tests

The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a US-drafted resolution that imposes sanctions on 18 North Korean officials and entities.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

North Korea has dramatically ramped up missile tests over the past year in its effort to develop an ICBM that can strike the US mainland.

Updated Jun 3, 2017

The UN Security Council on Friday expanded targeted sanctions against North Korea after its repeated missile tests this year that are banned under UN resolutions.

The resolution, which puts North Korea's suspected spy chief, 13 other Pyongyang officials and four entities on a sanctions blacklist, is the first one agreed by the United States and Pyongyang's only major ally China since President Donald Trump took office.

The resolution, however, did not contain some of the more drastic sanctions that the US administration had floated last month, such as an oil embargo, a ban on maritime shipping, trade restrictions and curbs on North Korean workers abroad.

Among those added to the blacklist was Cho Il-U, believed to be the head of foreign espionage for Kim Jong-Un's regime.

The other 13 included senior officials from North Korea's Workers' Party and heads of trading firms tasked with securing purchases for Pyongyang's military program.

The strategic rocket force of the North Korean army, two trading firms and the Koryo Bank, linked to a party office that manages Kim's finances, were also hit by an assets freeze.

The 18 names will be added to the current blacklist of 39 individuals and 42 North Korean entities already under UN sanctions.

North Korea has carried out two atomic tests and dozens of missile launches since the beginning of last year in its quest to develop a missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the United States.

For weeks, the United States has been negotiating with China, Pyongyang's ally, on imposing new sanctions but Beijing has insisted on the need to open up dialogue with Pyongyang.

The United States has said it is willing to talk to North Korea if it halts its missile and nuclear tests.

Source: 
TRTWorld and agencies