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Sanctions imposed on DPRK after nuclear test

THE United Nations Security Council yesterday punished the Democratic People's Republic of Korea for its second nuclear test, imposing tough new sanctions, expanding an arms embargo and authorizing ship searches.

United States Deputy Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo said the resolution provided "a strong and united international response" to North Korea's test in defiance of a ban imposed after its first underground atomic blast in October 2006.

"The message of this resolution is clear: North Korea's behavior is unacceptable to the international community and the international community is determined to respond," DiCarlo said.

China's UN Ambassador Zhang Yesui said the nuclear test had affected regional peace and security and strongly urged Pyongyang to promote the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

He said the resolution demonstrated the international community's "firm opposition" to the atomic blast, "but also sends a positive signal" by calling for the resumption of six-party talks aimed at dismantling North Korea's nuclear program.

He also said it showed the council's determination to resolve the issue "peacefully."

The resolution seeks to deprive the DPRK of financing and material for its weapons program and bans the country's arms exports.

It does not ban normal trade, but does call on international financial institutions not to provide grants, aid or loans except for humanitarian, development and denuclearization programs.

On Monday, North Korea reiterated that it would consider any sanctions a declaration of war and would respond with "due corresponding self-defense measures." On Tuesday, it said it would use nuclear weapons in a "merciless offensive" if provoked.

The provision most likely to anger the North Koreans calls on countries to inspect all suspect cargo heading to or from the country.

China's Zhang cautioned that "countries have to act prudently, with sufficient grounds," and he stressed that "under no circumstances should there be use or threat of force."

The resolution condemns "in the strongest terms" the North's May 25 nuclear test "in violation and flagrant disregard" of the 2006 sanctions resolution.

It demands a halt to any further nuclear tests or missile launches and reiterates the council's demand that the North abandon all nuclear weapons, return to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, allow UN nuclear inspections, and rejoin six-party talks.


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