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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

US imposes new sanction against North Korea over nuclear test

Iran Press TV

Thu Mar 17, 2016 9:54AM

US President Barack Obama has signed a new executive order that tightens the US trade embargo on North Korea over the country's nuclear and missile tests.

The Obama administration said Wednesday the new measures block any US trade with the North Korean government and any entities in the country engaged in finance, transportation, mining and energy.

'The US and the global community will not tolerate North Korea's illicit nuclear and ballistic missile activities, and we will continue to impose costs on North Korea until it comes into compliance with its international obligations,' White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.

The new set of sanctions also freezes any property belonging to the North Korean government in the US.

"We will work closely with our international partners to continue in a strong and unambiguous way to pressure North Korea to abandon its illicit nuclear and ballistic missile programs," said Adam Szubin, the US Treasury Department's top sanctions official.

Washington's unilateral measures follow a series of tough sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council on Pyongyang earlier this month.

North Korea carried out a nuclear test in January and a rocket launch in February that sparked global condemnations.

Chinese companies could also be targeted in the crackdown, US officials said. China is North Korea's sole major ally and largest trading partner.

Under legislation passed by Congress in February, the Obama administration must also sanction non-US companies found to be doing business with blacklisted North Korean entities.

On Thursday, China expressed its opposition to the unilateral sanctions, saying they could raise tensions in the region.

'First, as I've said many times before, China always opposes any country imposing unilateral sanctions,' Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a daily news briefing in Beijing.

'Second, under the present situation where the situation on the Korean Peninsula is complex and sensitive, we oppose any moves that may further worsen tensions there,' Kang said.

'Third, we have clearly stressed many times in meetings with the relevant county, any so-called unilateral sanctions imposed by any country should neither affect nor harm China's reasonable interests.'

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