UN vows to toughen sanctions against North Korea

UN vows to toughen sanctions against North Korea


The United Nations Security Council committed to eliciting tighter sanctions against North Korea from the international community as the panel prepared to conduct a meeting to discuss the latest missile launch ordered by Kim Jong Un.

The council, in a unanimous statement that included support from China, strongly condemned a North Korea test that occurred on May 21, 2017, and instructed the U.N. sanctions committee to work harder at implementing a series of tougher sanctions adopted in 2016, Channel NewsAsia reported.

The council also said it would “take further significant measures including sanctions” that force the North to curtail its missile mission and end such “highly destabilizing behavior.”

The United States, Japan and South Korea requested an emergency meeting to discuss escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula brought on by the North. The countries, including China, have agreed to a draft statement, but no final agreement on the wording of such a resolution has been reached, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said, according to Channel NewsAsia.

“This is the same movie that keeps playing. He [Kim Jong Un] continues to test,” Haley told MSNBC. “We’ve got to do action.”

Haley admitted that naysayers contend sanctions have done little, if anything, to curtail North Korea’s actions in the past.

“When the entire international community speaks with one voice, it does work,” she insisted during her MSNBC interview. “It lets them know that they are on an island, and we’re all against them and that they need to correct their behavior.”

(Pictured: South Korean Ambassador to the United Nations Cho Tae-yul, center, Japanese Ambassador Koro Bessho, right, and U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley speak to reporters before a May 16, 2017, Security Council meeting at United Nations headquarters on the situation in North Korea.)

On May 21, North Korea launched the Pukguksong-2, described by South Korean defense officials as a medium-range missile, from Pukchang in South Pyongan province. It traveled about 500 kilometers before landing in the Sea of Japan, according to South Korean Armed Forces. The missile, however, cannot fly far enough to strike American bases in Guam, The New York Times newspaper reported.

“These actions threaten regional and international security,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said of the series of launches carried out this year by North Korea. “We call on the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or North Korea] to stop further testing and allow space to explore the resumption of meaningful dialogue.”