Two key figures involved in North Korea missile program sanctioned by US

Elias Hubbard
January 2, 2018

North Korea is believed to have successfully put a satellite into orbit in December 2012 after years of failures dating back to 1998 when it launched a pilot satellite and named it Kwangmyongsong-1.

The announcement comes on the heels of growing calls for South Korea's armed forces to establish a so-called "control tower" dedicated to exclusively handling North Korea affairs. "The DPRK, as a responsible nuclear weapons state, will lead the trend of history to the only road of independence and justice, weathering all tempests on this planet", the report continued, referring to North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The sanctions are aimed at further limiting Kim's access to petrol, as well as cash from North Korean workers overseas.

The Counter WMD Division will be renamed and reorganized into the Missile and Space Policy Division, with the intention of specializing in North Korea's missiles and space programs.

According to China's state-run Global Times, local security experts said the latest United Nations sanctions are likely to cause a major impact on North Korea's political and economic spheres but the measures "cannot shake the foundation".

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who made a similar offer on Monday, told US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a phone call on Tuesday that "Washington's aggressive rhetoric" and beefing up of its military presence in the region had heightened tensions and was unacceptable, Russia's foreign ministry said.

The standoff between the United States and North Korea has raised fears of a new conflict on the Korean peninsula, which has remained in a technical state of war since the 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty.

But the significance of mentioning of inter-Korean cooperation, especially with regards to both countries' armed forces, may be more political than military, Delury noted.

The US and South Korea have maintained that they will not negotiate with the North unless it is willing to discuss curbing its nuclear weapons and missile programme.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has long advocated for increased dialogue with North Korea. Beijing has not disclosed its crude exports to North Korea for several years.

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), a mouthpiece for dictator Kim Jong-un's regime, accused Donald Trump of making unprecedented threats against the state.

However, the old rivals have agreed to continue diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis over Kim Jong-un's development of nukes.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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