View Full Version : US announces new sanctions against North Korea

21st July 2010, 10:38
Hillary Clinton: "These measures are not directed at the people of North Korea who have suffered too long"
The US will impose new sanctions on North Korea, following the crisis over the sinking of a South Korean warship.

The move was announced by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a visit to South Korea.

She said the measures would target Pyongyang's sale and purchase of arms and import of luxury goods, and would help prevent nuclear proliferation.

China has expressed concern over joint US-South Korean naval exercises, saying they could increase tensions.
An international inquiry blamed North Korea for sinking the Cheonan warship in March, with the loss of 46 lives, but Pyongyang has denied any involvement.

Speaking at a news conference in Seoul, Mrs Clinton said the measures would increase Washington's ability to "prevent North Korea's proliferation, to halt their illicit activities that help fund their weapons programmes, and to discourage further provocative actions".

She said the sanctions were not directed at the North Korean people but at the "misguided and malign priorities of their government".

North Korea is already one of the most sanctioned countries on the planet, but it appears the US is determined to squeeze it further.

In a large part this visit has all been about symbolism - in particular the trip to the heavily fortified border, where Mrs Clinton was able to get her own close-up glimpse of the old adversary, and now these large scale military exercises, all quite clearly designed to send a message of deterrence to North Korea.

But it is the sanctions that will cause the most upset. North Korea had said right from the start that it would see any new sanctions as an act of war, so I think we can safely expect a pretty strong reaction from Pyongyang over the next few days.
The BBC's John Sudworth in Seoul says few details were given about how the sanctions would work, but that they were clearly intended as punishment for the alleged attack on the ship....