June 4, 2017
NEW YORK- The UN Security Council adopted Friday a resolution expanding the targets of sanctions against North Korea after the recent series of ballistic missile launches by the reclusive state.
The resolution, approved by a unanimous vote, added 14 individuals and four groups in North Korea to the list of those subject to asset freezes and travel bans.
But the Security Council stopped short of widening the scope of its trade ban or imposing any new sanctions.
It is the seventh Security Council resolution imposing sanctions against North Korea and the first since the administration of US Donald Trump was launched.
China and Russia, which are close to North Korea, voted for the resolution.
The adoption of the sanctions resolution is a stronger UN response to North Korean provocations. Previously, the Security Council responded to ballistic missile launches by North Korea, other than long-range missiles, by issuing press statements, which are less effective than resolutions.
"Today's action sent a strong message to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea: 'Stop firing ballistic missiles or face the consequences,'" Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the United Nations, said, using the official name of North Korea.
The four groups added to the sanctions list this time include the Strategic Rocket Force of the Korean People's Army, which oversees ballistic missile launches,
and Koryo Bank, related to Office 39, which is in charge of managing funds for Kim Jong Un, leader of the Workers' Party of Korea.
Cho Il U, director of the Fifth Bureau of the Reconnaissance General Bureau, who is believed to be in charge of overseas espionage operations, and other senior military and ruling party personnel were designated for sanctions.
No groups or individuals from outside North Korea were added to the sanctions list.
The resolution expressed the Security Council's "commitment to a peaceful, diplomatic and political solution" to the North Korean situation. No reference was made to six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear programs, unlike in past resolutions. (Jiji Press)
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