NEW YORK, JUNE 2 – The U.N. Security Council expanded its sanctions against North Korea on Friday, penalizing the country for its repeated missile tests this year. The resolution, which was unanimously approved by the 15-country council, adds 14 people and four entities to a blacklist that brings with it a travel ban and asset freeze, including Cho Il-u, who leads Pyongyang’s foreign espionage operations, senior members of North Korea’s Workers’ Party and heads of trading firms funding Pyongyang’s military programme. North Korea’s strategic rocket force, the Koryo Bank and two trading firms were also added to the list.
China, a permanent Security Council member and longtime ally of North Korea, lent its yes vote to the resolution after five weeks of negotiations between Washington and Beijing. “We thank the United States and China for moving this resolution forward, in a constructive spirit of active collaboration with all relevant actors, which remains crucial to the overall efforts to bring peace and stability to the Korean peninsula”, the Italian Permanent representative Sebastiano Cardi, who is also the Chair of the 1718 Sanctions Committee said in the explanation of vote .
Stressing that sanctions are not an end in themselves, Cardi added that the Committee and his delegation will continue to work tirelessly in order to ensure the full implementation of all relevant Security Council resolutions by the whole UN membership: “A rigorous and effective sanctions regime is essential in order to make the DPRK leadership calculate the price of its defiance of this Council and of the International Community as a whole”. (@OnuItalia)