Obama imposes new sanctions on North Korea

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The United States has levied new sanctions against North Korea following the latter nation’s recent nuclear test and satellite launch. CNN reports that the sanctions will freeze the assets of anyone whose business activities in North Korea are related to nuclear or weapons programs, as well as those belonging to anyone involved in human rights abuses. While South Korea welcomed the new sanctions against the North, China has expressed objections – saying that sanctions will only make the delicate situation on the Korean Peninsula worse. At present, China is also preventing multi-lateral sanctions from moving forward in the U.N.

It remains to be seen what affect these sanctions will have, but Dr. Thomas Cynkin from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University made some predictions. Immediately after North Korea’s satellite launch he said that “should tighter sanctions be imposed, we can assume an escalation in North Korea’s rhetoric and perhaps a dramatic gesture of defiance.” He added that “this should not, however, deter the international community from pursuing sanctions against North Korea, lest Pyongyang learn the lesson that it can test nuclear weapons and missiles with impunity.”

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