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New U.N. Sanctions On North Korea


In this Dec. 12, 2012 file image made from video, North Korea's Unha-3 rocket lifts off from the Sohae launching station in Tongchang-ri, North Korea.

The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to impose new sanctions on North Korea in response to its rocket launch last month.

The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to impose new sanctions on North Korea in response to its rocket launch last month. The resolution condemns the launch and sanctions North Korean companies and government agencies --including North Korea’s space agency, which was responsible for the launch -- as well as a bank and several North Korean individuals.


Resolution 2087 also updates current lists of nuclear and ballistic missile technology banned for transfer to and from North Korea, making it more difficult for North Korea to procure or proliferate the most sensitive technology. It includes several new provisions targeting North Korea’s illicit procurement efforts, in particular its smuggling of sensitive items that could contribute to prohibited programs, and it has new financial provisions that help to increase vigilance and monitoring over North Korean financial activities.

“This resolution,” said U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, “demonstrates to North Korea that there are unanimous and significant consequences for its flagrant violation of its obligations under previous resolutions. More importantly, the provisions of this resolution — both new sanctions and the tightening and expanding of existing measures — concretely help to impede the growth of North Korea’s [weapons of mass destruction] program and reduce the threat of proliferation by targeting entities and individuals directly involved in these programs.”

Resolution 2087, said Ambassador Rice, is a “firm, united, and appropriate response to North Korea’s reckless act,” noting that “strict enforcement of sanctions is essential to address the threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.” She added, “We remain committed, nonetheless, to resolving our concerns about these programs through authentic and credible negotiations to the greatest extent possible.”

As President Barack Obama made clear in a speech in Burma, the United States is willing to extend its hand should the leadership in North Korea opt for the path of peace and progress by choosing to let go of its nuclear weapons. But this U.N. resolution makes clear that there will be an increasingly steep price to pay if North Korea again chooses confrontation with the U.N. Security Council and the international community.
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