Sanctions delay North Korea`s atom bomb work

  15 May 2013    Read: 342
Sanctions delay North Korea`s atom bomb work
Increasingly tough financial sanctions, an arms embargo and other international restrictions on trade with North Korea have significantly delayed expansion of Pyongyang`s illicit nuclear arms program, according to a confidential report by a U.N. panel of experts seen by Reuters on Tuesday.
The latest annual report by the U.N. sanctions-monitoring group comes as the United States seeks to persuade China that applying economic and other sanctions against its neighbor is crucial to halting the program.

"While the imposition of sanctions has not halted the development of nuclear and ballistic missile programs, it has in all likelihood considerably delayed (North Korea`s) timetable and, through the imposition of financial sanctions and the bans on the trade in weapons, has choked off significant funding which would have been channeled into its prohibited activities," the 52-page report said.

The document covers the period up through last month, diplomats said, so it was too early to measure the effect the latest round of U.N. sanctions adopted in March.

In the report to the U.N. Security Council`s North Korea sanctions committee, the panel also recommended sanctioning three North Korean entities and 12 individuals. It will be up to the 15-nation council whether or not it follows the recommendations.

The three entities the panel said should be blacklisted are the newly created Ministry of Atomic Energy Industry, the Munitions Industry Department of the Central Committee of the Korean Workers Party (KWP), and the State Space Development Bureau.

The individuals the panel wants sanctioned include the atomic energy industry minister, once he is nominated, and four senior officials at the KWP Munitions Industry Department.

It also recommends the blacklisting of one national from Kazakhstan, Aleksandr Viktorovich Zykov, and two from Ukraine, Iurii Lunov and Igor Karev-Popov, for their involvement in North Korea-related arms deals.

The panel listed North Korea`s February nuclear test and its rocket launches as examples of violations of Security Council resolutions that have increased international concerns about Pyongyang. It was North Korea`s third nuclear test since 2006.

Pyongyang is under U.N., U.S., European Union and other sanctions, including a U.N. ban on all arms exports, due to its nuclear weapons program.

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