UN Security Council imposes new sanctions on N. Korea, Washington Post reports .
The U.N. Security Council unanimously voted Friday to impose a broad range of additional financial, military and trade sanctions on North Korea in response to its recent nuclear and ballistic missile tests, and called on states for the first time to seize banned North Korean cargo on the high seas.
The Security Council's action marked a significant escalation in the United Nations' effort to coerce North Korea into halting a barrage of ballistic missile tests and to prod it back into six-nation talks aimed at denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula. The 15-nation council is now set to begin negotiations over imposition of an asset freeze or travel ban on additional individuals and state companies linked to North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile program.
The Obama administration said the resolution provided a "strong and unified response" to North Korea's nuclear activities. "North Korea chose a path of provocation," said Rosemary DiCarlo, the U.S. ambassador for political affairs, told the council. "This resolution will give us new tools to impair North Korea's ability to proliferate and threaten international stability."
The resolution would restrict Pyongyang's access to international grants, financial assistance and low-interest loans. It would also reinvigorate efforts to enforce a range of sanctions imposed on North Korea after its first nuclear test in October 2006.
The resolution calls for U.N. members to inspect all shipments entering or leaving North Korea if there is a reasonable suspicion that the cargo contains banned nuclear or missile technology. Member nations would be given the right to search ships suspected of carrying banned materials on the high seas and to seize any contraband.