Monday, July 13, 2009

China Agrees to Sanction North Korean Officials

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July 13 (Bloomberg) -- China has agreed for the first time to punish senior North Korean government officials for the nation’s defiance of United Nations resolutions barring nuclear and missile tests, China’s deputy ambassador said.

Ambassador Liu Zhenmin said his government would support imposing a travel ban and asset freeze on a “large percentage” of 15 North Korean officials proposed by the U.S. and other western nations as targets for UN sanctions. No government officials have been subject to the sanctions the Security Council adopted after North Korea’s nuclear test in 2006.

Liu, in an interview, declined to identify the officials, other than to say they hold “senior” government positions and are working on nuclear and missile programs.

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