March 18, 2018

North Korea Preparing To Launch New Satellite: Seoul Newspaper

12 January 2018, 09:38 | Devin Moran

North Korean economic growth surpasses South Korea's for first time in eight years

US 'Maximum Pressure' N. Korea Policy Yielded Mixed Results in 2017

Treasury said the men are senior officials in North Korea's Munitions Industry Department.

The resolution, drafted by the US and supported by every other security council member state, will cut petrol imports to North Korea by as much as 90 percent, ban exports from the country, and require the return home of North Korean nationals employed overseas.

The United Nation's latest sanctions on North Korea are more likely to hurt ordinary people in the isolated nation than slow Kim Jong-Un's push to develop missiles capable of hitting the U.S. with nuclear weapons.

A Treasury Department statement said Kim Jong Sik and Ri Pyong Chol are "key leaders of North Korea's unlawful weapons programs".

"The Treasury is targeting leaders of North Korea's ballistic missile programs as part of our maximum pressure campaign to isolate [North Korea] and achieve a fully denuclearized Korean Peninsula", Mnuchin said.

Pyongyang launched their Kwangmyongsong-4 satellite in February 2016, which most in the global community viewed as a disguised ballistic missile test.

That launch came despite months of increasing pressure, especially at the United Nations with China and Russia's backing.

South Korea's spy agency said in November that Hwang was punished for "impure" acts.

Last week, the UN Security Council imposed new caps on trade with North Korea, including limiting oil product shipments to just 500,000 barrels a year.

RFA also reported Wednesday that Mongolia has started cutting back on the number of North Korean workers within its borders, as a response to Pyongyang's intercontinental ballistic missile test on November 29.

The UN Security Council responded by adopting a new set of severe US-drafted sanctions created to further strangle North Korea's energy supplies and tighten restrictions on smuggling and the use of North Korean workers overseas.

And in early December, a state-run newspaper in China's Jilin Province, which borders North Korea and Russian Federation, published a page of "common sense" advice on how readers can protect themselves from a nuclear weapons attack or explosion.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has sought diplomatic solutions to the crisis, even saying earlier this month that he would be willing to meet with North Korean leadership "without preconditions".

As NPR's Jackie Northam reported last month, it's not clear whether increasing sanctions on North Korea will be likely to influence the rogue nation's behavior.

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