News / Asia

    N. Korea Launches Projectiles Into Sea After UN Imposes New Sanctions

    UN Imposes Tough New Sanctions on North Koreai
    Margaret Besheer
    March 02, 2016 9:16 PM
    The U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted new hard-hitting sanctions against North Korea on Wednesday. The measures were added in response to two recent violations by Pyongyang of international prohibitions on its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. From the United Nations, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
    UN Imposes Tough New Sanctions on North Korea
    Margaret Besheer

    North Korea fired several short-range projectiles into the sea off its east coast, Seoul said Thursday, hours after the U.N. Security Council adopted tough new sanctions against Pyongyang's nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

    South Korea's defense ministry said it was still trying to determine the number and nature of the projectiles, which it said were fired into the Sea of Japan at 10 a.m. local time (1:00 UTC).

    The move could be a response to the Security Council's unanimous approval Wednesday of sanctions against Pyongyang for its recent nuclear and long-range rocket launch.

    Watch: U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power speaking at the U.N. Security Council.

    UN Imposes Sanctions on North Koreai
    VOA News
    March 02, 2016 11:58 PM
    The United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted tough, new sanctions on North Korea Wednesday, taking aim at its nuclear and ballistic missile programs

    “North Korea is the only country in the entire world that has conducted a nuclear test in the 21st century. In fact, it has conducted not one nuclear test, but four,” U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power told the council after the vote.

    She said North Korea has consistently focused on its nuclear and ballistic missile programs instead of the basic needs of its people. “Virtually all of its resources are channeled into the relentless and reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons,” Power said.

    At the White House, President Barack Obama welcomed the U.N. action.

    "Today, the international community, speaking with one voice, has sent Pyongyang a simple message: North Korea must abandon these dangerous programs and choose a better path for its people," Obama said in a statement.

    The United Nations Security Council votes on a resolution during a meeting at U.N. headquarters, March 2, 2016.
    The United Nations Security Council votes on a resolution during a meeting at U.N. headquarters, March 2, 2016.

    Robust measures

    The U.N. resolution – which had more than 50 co-sponsors – has several unprecedented measures. One is the mandatory inspection of all cargo going in and out of the community nation. There is also a total arms embargo -- including both conventional and other weapons -- and restrictions on the sale of coal from North Korea, as well as other minerals, including gold, iron, iron ore and titanium.

    A provision in an earlier draft of the text to ban the sale or supply to North Korea of aviation fuel – which is also used to power rockets – was revised in the final resolution to include an exception for civilian passenger aircraft flying to and from North Korea.

    Banking sanctions have also been tightened, as well as bans on the sale of luxury goods to North Korea. In addition, travel bans and asset freezes have been imposed on 16 new individuals.

    FILE - Liu Jieyi, China's U.N. ambassador, takes questions during a break inSecurity Council consultations.
    FILE - Liu Jieyi, China's U.N. ambassador, takes questions during a break inSecurity Council consultations.

    Firm response

    Chinese envoy Liu Jieyi expressed Beijing’s anger at North Korea’s January nuclear test and February rocket launch, saying his government “has expressed its explicit opposition to these actions.”

    “This resolution demonstrates the seriousness of the international community in opposing the further development of DPRK nuclear and missile capacities,” Ambassador Liu said. He urged a resumption of dialogue to restart stalled six-party talks aimed at ending Pyongyang’s nuclear program through diplomatic negotiations. China is North Korea's most important ally.

    Russia had delayed a planned Tuesday vote on the resolution for 24 hours while it pressed for some changes to the text. One change was the removal of a North Korean mining executive operating in Russia from a list of individuals designated for asset freezes and travel bans.

    Both the Russian and Chinese envoys expressed concern about U.S. and South Korean consultations about the possible deployment of the U.S.-made THAAD anti-missile system, saying Pyongyang’s behavior should not be used as a justification to increase military capabilities in the region.

    South Korea’s envoy, Oh Joon, was allowed to address the council. He spoke directly to North Korea, saying it does not need such sophisticated weapons systems and that perceived international threats against it are “ a figment of your imagination.” He urged Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons and join the international community to live in peace and security.

    No North Korean diplomat spoke at the session nor was seen around the council during the meeting.

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement welcoming the resolution. He urged North Korea to abide by the resolution and called on all nations to ensure its implementation. Ban also renewed his call for North Korea to genuinely improve human rights, saying it is “a necessary basis for long-term security and stability.”

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora