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  • US For New Sanctions against Korea

    Published on August 2, 2010

    The United States will soon adopt new financial sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea ( DPRK), hoping that the moves will be strong enough to deter further aggression and encourage it to abandon its nuclear weapons program, a senior U.S. envoy said here on Monday.

    Washington will soon announce new sanctions on the DPRK that could isolate its entities and individuals suspected of illicit activities from the international financial and commercial system, said Robert Einhorn, U.S. State Department’s special adviser for nonproliferation and arms control, during a press conference here later in the day.

    “Our hope is that these measures will be effective, that they will provide strong incentives for North Korea (DPRK)’s leaders to abide by their international obligations not to pursue any provocative activities and to fulfill completely their commitments to denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” he said.

    Einhorn, who is on a three-day visit to Seoul to coordinate stance with Seoul’s government on new sanctions against the DPRK, accused the DPRK of developing its nuclear or military programs and purchasing luxury goods by hundreds of millions of dollars obtained through “illicit activities”, such as “counterfeiting U.S. dollars”, which DPRK denies, and trade in conventional weapons.

    New measures will help designate entities and individuals involved in such activities that violate UN Security Council resolutions 1718 and 1874, said Einhorn, adding that blacklisting will lead to the blocking of their assets or properties under the control of a U.S. person or bank.

    Seoul and Washington have sought punitive measures against the DPRK in the aftermath of the March sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan, which left 46 sailors dead. Pyongyang denies attacking the ship.

    Earlier in the day, Einhorn met with South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan, chief nuclear envoy Wi Sung-lac and Deputy Foreign Minister Lee Yong-joon.

    After a series of meetings, Einhorn said that Seoul and Washington should cooperate closely in the fight against threats to international security posed by both the DPRK and Iran.

    “One means of addressing these challenges is to create the pressures felt by these two governments, so that they recognize that it is in the best interests of their countries to meet their international obligations and forsake nuclear weapons,” he told reporters.

    He added that the DPRK and Iran are different cases and sanctions on Pyongyang will be different from those pursued against Teheran.

    Einhorn’s visit to Seoul follows Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s announcement last month that the United States would impose fresh economic sanctions on the DPRK that are aimed at reining in Pyongyang’s nuclear activities by stamping out illegal moneymaking ventures used to fund the program.

    In response, a DPRK spokesman said in Hanoi on July 22 that the new sanctions Washington will impose on it were in violation of a UN statement issued on July 9 over the sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan.

    On July 27, Pyongyang also described the new sanctions threats as part of “provocations” to the DPRK and “rude challenges” to the international community appealing for peace.

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