The United States is proposing more international sanctions against North Korea as part of a broader effort to increase pressure on Pyongyang following North Korea’s recent missile tests.
The United States on Wednesday tightened its own sanctions against North Korea, naming five North Koreans responsible for securing goods for Pyongyang’s weapons programs.
On top of those measures, the United States wants the UN Security Council to impose stronger sanctions, according to a tweet by US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield.
He did not provide any further details.
There was no immediate reaction from China and Russia, which are permanent members of the Security Council and would need to approve any sanctions. Both have recently called for North Korea’s sanctions to be loosened rather than strengthened.
North Korea has already been barred from a wide range of economic activities under a series of Security Council resolutions. China and Russia agreed to many of those sanctions after North Korea’s 2017 nuclear and long-range missile tests.
Since then, North Korea has avoided nuclear tests or intercontinental ballistic missile launches. In 2019, however, the North resumed launches of short-range weapons. Since then it has unveiled several new systems, many of which are designed to evade the missile defenses of the US and its allies.
North Korea has already conducted two tests of hypersonic missiles this year. Missiles have maneuverable reentry vehicles that detach in flight and are theoretically difficult to intercept.
US officials condemned the launches, pointing out that North Korea has been banned from ballistic missile activity by current UN sanctions.
On Wednesday, America went a step ahead. The Treasury Department banned four China-based North Koreans and one Russia-based North Korean, accusing them of buying material for North Korea’s weapons programs.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States would use “every appropriate tool” to address North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs, which “are a serious threat to international peace and security and a serious threat to global security.” Non-proliferation weakens the system.”
Taken together, the move suggests that the United States is taking a tough stand on North Korean missile tests. Since 2019, the United States has reduced North Korea’s short-range launches, possibly to preserve the possibility of future talks.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Wednesday that the US approach to North Korea “remains unchanged.”
“I would strongly object to the idea that these sanctions indicate anything other than a genuine attempt by North Korea – in this case, to disrupt their ballistic missile programs,” Price said at a regular press briefing. He said the United States is “willing, ready and able” to engage in diplomacy with North Korea.
North Korea withdrew from nuclear talks in 2019 and has said it will not engage unless the United States abandons its “hostile policy”.
Eric Brewer, a former White House National Security Council official, said the United States appears to be balancing the need to respond to North Korea’s tests against its goal of keeping it open to dialogue.
“It looks like they’re formulating this in strictly counterproliferation terms and avoiding some of the language that is suggesting a larger pressure-focused effort,” Brewer said. International studies.
Despite the apparent inability of current sanctions to deter North Korea from developing its nuclear weapons program, US officials have defended the approach, saying it is important to set a precedent for other countries considering acquiring nuclear weapons. .
“We continue to implement measures that put constraints on these WMD and ballistic missile programs, holding Proliferators and other bad actors responsible for their activity,” Price said Wednesday. “We will continue to do so.”