UN Security Council Imposes Sanctions on North Korean Firms

Posted May 2nd, 2012 at 4:10 pm (UTC-5)
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The United Nations is penalizing three North Korean companies involved in the country's missile and nuclear programs.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, says the Security Council sanctions include freezing the assets of three North Korean entities.

“These new sanctions include the designation of and the freezing of assets of three very significant North Korean entities very much involved in their illicit missile and nuclear programs.”

Ambassador Rice said the committee also expanded the list of goods North Korea is not allowed import. She said overall, the Security Council views the sanctions as “strong and credible” because they will increase North Korea's isolation and make it harder for Pyongyang to progress with its prohibited programs.

North Korea launched a long-range missile last month, despite calls by many in the international community not to do so. The missile malfunctioned and fell into the Yellow Sea about a minute after liftoff.

At the time, all 15 Security Council members condemned the failed launch, and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called North Korea's actions “deplorable.”

North Korea said the launch was aimed at placing a weather satellite into orbit. But the operation was widely believed to be a test of a long-range ballistic missile that could carry warheads as easily as satellites.

Diplomats said this week that the United States, European Union, Japan and South Korea had proposed a list of about 40 companies and goods to designate for sanctions, but that China agreed to only three of them.