US pushing for more N. Korea sanctions

Updated: 2007-01-12 14:54

BUNITED NATIONS - The United States expressed concern Thursday that the UN committee monitoring sanctions against North Korea has not adopted amendments proposed by the US and others that would add new equipment, goods and technology to a list of banned items.

The UN Security Council imposed sanctions on North Korea on Oct. 14 for conducting a nuclear test.

"For the sake of the credibility of the committee and this sanctions regime, we wish to see these amendments adopted as quickly as possible," US deputy ambassador Jackie Sanders told the Security Council.

The US-sponsored resolution ordered all countries to prevent North Korea from importing or exporting material for weapons of mass destruction or ballistic missiles specified on lists. It also orders nations to freeze assets of people or businesses connected to these programs, and ban the individuals from traveling.

Sanders told the council the United States intends to propose in the near future that several new "entities" be added to the list of those subject to an asset freeze.

In a measure aimed at North Korea's tiny elite, the resolution also bans the sale of luxury goods to the country. The North's reclusive leader, Kim Jong Il, is known for his love of cognac and lobster and collection of thousands of bottles of vintage French wine.

Slovakia's UN Ambassador Peter Burian, the outgoing chairman of the sanctions committee, told the council the committee was continuing the process "of determining additional items, materials, equipment, goods and technology" to be added to the list of banned items.

He said the committee decided that it was up to UN member states to decide on a definition of luxury goods that would be banned from export to North Korea.

The committee also reaffirmed that the sanctions "are not intended to restrict the supply of ordinary goods to the wider population of the country or have a negative humanitarian impact" on North Korea, Burian added.

North Korea returned to six-party talks on its nuclear arms program in Beijing last month - the first since its Oct. 9 nuclear test. But no progress was made on disarmament because of a dispute over US financial sanctions imposed on the North over its alleged counterfeiting of US$100 bills and money laundering.

The six-nation talks - involving North and South Korea, the United States, China, Russia and Japan - had been stalled since November 2005.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who was South Korea's foreign minister before taking over as UN chief on Jan. 1, urged the six parties "to work hard toward denuclearization of the Korean peninsula."

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