UN Security Council Unanimously Broadens Sanctions On North Korea

Elias Hubbard
June 3, 2017

The United Nations security council will vote on Friday on a U.S. and Chinese proposal to blacklist more North Korean individuals and entities after the country's repeated ballistic missile launches, diplomats said yesterday.

But the resolution doesn't impose new sanctions regarding North Korea's most recent missile tests as the US and its Western allies had urged.

Treasury's move is the most recent in the USA effort to clamp down on North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

However, Mattis said seeking China's cooperation on North Korea did not mean Washington would not challenge Beijing's activities in the South China Sea.

Talking at the summit on Saturday morning, Defence Secretary Mattis was unrelentingly critical of North Korea.

The resolution slapped even more United Nations sanctions on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and condemns the regime's continued proliferation of its nuclear and ballistic program.

The sanctions are mostly symbolic since it's unlikely that the targeted companies or individuals have any such business dealings or US assets.

There have been missile launches, directed by Pyongyang, on nearly a weekly basis since the inauguration of the new South Korean government in Seoul on May 10, he added.

President Donald Trump's announcement this week that the US would exit the Paris climate change agreement, along with other campaign trail and policy follow-throughs, are not only raising concerns about the environment and free trade agreements, but also spilling over into the security arena as well.

While Russia has not indicated it would oppose UN sanctions or seek to dilute them, its ties with the United States are fraught and that could complicate its joining any US-led initiative on North Korea.

"It is going to take time for the actions that China is taking to have affect in terms of North Korea", said David Helvey, a senior USA defense official dealing with Asian and Pacific security affairs.

Since taking office, Trump, who laced his campaign rhetoric with anti-China sentiment, has made an about-face and turned to China to apply pressure on North Korea to rein in its nuclear weapons program.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula intensified in early 2016 when North Korea conducted a nuclear test and after that launched a ballistic missile carrying a satellite.

That includes continued militarization of the man-made features Beijing controls in the hotly contested waters, he added.

The sanctions list also included a Russian citizen, Igor Michurin, who is affiliated with Korea Tangun Trading Corporation.

The test, the first of the ground-based interceptor system since a test that the agency says was a success in June 2014, was planned weeks before North Korea's latest launch. NPR's Lauren Frayer reports experts are less generous in estimating that missile's range, arguing it's unlikely to reach farther than the US territory of Guam.

A Moscow-based company, Ardis-Bearings LLC, was among the entities added, with the Treasury Department saying it has a track record of working with a North Korea firm involved in the weapons of mass destruction and missile programs.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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