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U.N. tightens sanctions on North Korea

  • Story Highlights
  • U.N. Resolution 1874 imposes arms embargo, broadens weapons import ban
  • N. Korea recently did nuclear test, fired rockets, threatened ships near its waters
  • Resolution requires arms sales notifications, inspection of suspect vessels
  • Pyongyang's actions violated existing U.N. resolutions
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UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Friday to expand and tighten sanctions on North Korea after that nation's recent nuclear test.

The U.N. Security Council votes for a resolution imposing sanctions against North Korea on Friday.

The U.N. Security Council votes for a resolution imposing sanctions against North Korea on Friday.

The 15-0 vote on U.N. Resolution 1874 imposes an embargo on the shipment of arms from the communist regime and broadens a ban on the import of weapons.

"This resolution provides a strong and united international response to North Korea's test of a nuclear device," said U.S. Deputy Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo.

The agreement comes amid rising tension surrounding North Korea, which recently conducted a nuclear test, fired test rockets and threatened U.S. and South Korean ships near its territorial waters. The nuclear test and the firing of six short-range rockets occurred in late May.

Pyongyang's actions violated existing U.N. resolutions.

The Security Council's five permanent members had already passed a draft resolution Wednesday that condemned North Korea's nuclear test "in the strongest terms." The permanent members -- China, France, Russia, Britain and the United States -- reached the agreement in consultation with Japan and South Korea.

The draft resolution reaffirmed that the "proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, as well as their means of delivery, constitutes a threat to international peace and security."

That resolution provided a "strong, very credible, very appropriate response to the provocative nuclear test that North Korea launched and its subsequent activities," Susan E. Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, told reporters at the time.

"And we think that the message that the council will send ... is that North Korea's behavior is unacceptable, they must pay a price, they ought to return without conditions to a process of negotiations and that the consequences they will face are significant," Rice said.

Provisions already existing in U.N. Resolution 1718, passed in 2006, are strengthened by the new measure, but others are new, Rice said.

The new resolution requires states to "exercise vigilance" over the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to North Korea of small arms or light weapons.

Nations would be required to notify the sanctions committee at least five days prior to selling, supplying or transferring small arms or light weapons to North Korea.

The resolution calls on all states to inspect vessels suspected of containing contraband. If a ship refuses, it is to proceed to the closest port for a mandatory inspection.

A new regulation would prohibit nations from providing bunkering services, such as fuel, to North Korean ships believed to be carrying contraband. The draft also broadens authority to prevent the flow of funds that could benefit North Korea's missile, nuclear or proliferation activities.

Late last month, two Defense Department officials said U.S. satellite imagery spotted "vehicle activity" at a North Korean ballistic missile facility. The officials said the images showed vehicles used to transport Taepodong-2 missiles, but no missile parts. The Taepodong-2 is a long-range missile North Korea tested in April.

That test showed a significant improvement in range from North Korea's initial long-range missile test in 2006.

This week, a U.S. official who was not authorized to speak on the record told CNN that Washington had "indications" that North Korea may be planning another test. The official would not provide any details, however.

President Obama's special envoy to North Korea, Stephen Bosworth, called "simply groundless" accusations by Pyongyang that its nuclear and rocket tests were in response to American aggression.

Washington officials have said the United States' goal is for North Korea to return to nuclear negotiations with the United States, China, South Korea, Japan and Russia, known as the six-party talks.

All About North KoreaUnited Nations Security CouncilNuclear Weapons

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