UNSC expands sanctions on North Korea

United Nations: Strongly condemning the attempted rocket launch by North Korea, the UN Security Council on Monday took steps to tighten sanctions against the country, ordering new "entities and items" to be added to the sanctions list.

In a Presidential Statement, the 15-nation UNSC said it "deplores that such a launch has caused grave security concerns in the region." US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, president of the UNSC this month, said the presidential statement also provides for new sanctions.

The Security Council has directed its North Korea Sanctions Committee to "designate additional entities and items," including North Korean companies, to be subject to an asset freeze, as well as to identify additional proliferation-sensitive technology to be banned for transfer to or from North Korea. "The Committee will also take several other actions to improve enforcement of existing sanctions," Rice told reporters here.

Condemning the attempted launch of the "application satellite," the UNSC said the action as well as any other use of ballistic missile technology is a serious violation of the United Nations resolutions.

The presidential statement came after Friday`s launch of the satellite, which reportedly rose for less than two minutes before exploding and plunging into the sea near the Korean peninsula.

The Council demanded that North Korea refrain from any further launches using ballistic missile technology and to comply with previous resolutions by suspending all activities related to the country`s ballistic missile programme.

Pyongyang must also re-establish its commitments to a moratorium on missile launches, the Council stressed. It said the country should immediately comply fully with its obligations under previous resolutions, including abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner; immediately ceasing all related activities and refraining from conducting any further launches that use ballistic missile technology, nuclear tests or any further provocation.

It called on all member states to implement fully their obligations as per the Council`s resolutions on North Korea. "The Security Council expresses its determination to take action accordingly in the event of a further DPRK launch or nuclear test," said the statement.

The US mission to the UN said the presidential statement is a "stronger response" than the Council`s reaction to North Korea`s last such launch in April 2009. It includes stronger condemnation of the launch as a violation and explicitly includes sanctions, tightens further existing sanctions and threatens additional action should North Korea conduct another launch or nuclear test.