Author: Rohan Malpure Date: 6-4-17
In an unanimous decision, the 15-country U.N. Security Council expanded its sanctions against North Korea on Friday. The resolution was passed to penalize the country for its repeated missile tests this year. It adds 14 people and four entities to a blacklist that brings with it a travel ban and asset freeze.
This is the first resolution agreed to by the U.S. and China, North Korea’s only major ally, since President Trump took office. The Trump administration had been pressing China aggressively to rein in North Korea, warning that all options were on the table if North Korea persisted with its nuclear and missile development programs.
North Korea has repeatedly violated a U.N. ban on ballistic missile tests. The latest violation came earlier this week. The frequency of the tests has also made U.S. officials wary. Soon after North Korea’s most recent test, the U.S. staged one of its own, in which they shot down a mock missile similar to the one North Korea might use.
According to the North Korean state media, the country has a missile capable of reaching “the U.S. mainland and Pacific operation region.” Experts do not believe this to be the case, instead saying that it is unlikely to reach farther than Guam, a U.S. territory in the Pacific Ocean.
The vote from China to penalize North Korea appears to show that there are increasingly strained ties between the two countries. In February, China banned coal from its neighbor, which dealt a blow to North Korea’s coal-dependent economy. In May, the North Korean state media said that its country would “never beg for the maintenance of friendship with China.”
The entities sanctioned include Koryo Bank and Strategic Rocket Force of the Korean People’s Army. According to a South Korean database, the Bank handles overseas transactions for Office 38, a shadowy group that manages the private slush funds of the North Korean leadership.
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