UN imposes sanctions on North Korea for missile launch
The UN Security Council on Tuesday banned some North Korean officials from traveling abroad and froze their assets as well as those of companies that were involved in last month's successful launch of a ballistic missile, dpa reported.
The 15-nation council voted unanimously to adopt the sanctions in response to Pyongyang's launch of a multi-stage rocket on December 12, which for the first time put a satellite in orbit.
The launch was strongly condemned by the United Nations because it violated resolutions banning North Korea from using ballistic missile technology.
The council banned travel and froze assets of four North Koreans named in the resolution: Paek Chang-ho, head of the satellite control centre of the Korean Committee for Space Technology; Chang Myong-chin, general manager of the Sohae satellite launching station; and Ra Kyong-su and Kim Kwang-il of the Tanchon Commercial Bank, which is responsible for sales of weapons and missiles.
It also froze the assets of six groups involved in space technology, trade and banking, which include the Korean Committee for Space Technology, the Bank of East Land, the Korea Kumryong Trading Corporation, Tosong Technology Trading Corporation and Leader International based in Hong Kong.
Leader International was described as North Korea's primary arms dealer and exporter of goods and equipment related to ballistic missiles and conventional weapons.
The UN Security Council imposed strict sanctions, including travel bans and freezing of assets, in 2006 and 2009, after North Korea test-fired nuclear devices. The sanctions have failed to deter Pyongyang from pursuing its development of ballistic missiles.
The council called for the resumption of the six-party talks and urged the participants to "intensify their efforts on the full and expeditious implementation" of the 2005 statement, which called for a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.
The talks include China, the United States, Russia, Japan and the two Koreas.