North Korea last month fired a long-range rocket in evident violation of the Security Council's ban on Pyongyang's use of ballistic missile technology, The rocket broke apart within minutes of liftoff. Nonetheless, the U.N. body responded with a statement that strongly condemned the launch and directed the sanctions committee to study adding new North Korean individuals and institutions to the list of blackballed entities.
Previous to the addition of the three companies on Wednesday, the North Korean sanctions list contained only eight firms and five persons. Sanctioned people are blocked from traveling outside of North Korea or accessing assets held in other nations; penalized companies also face restrictions on assets and the sale or acquisition of select materials.
European council nations, the United States, South Korea, and Japan had wanted to see the list of products all nations are barred from exporting to North Korea increased to include more items with missile applications (Louis Charbonneau, Reuters II, May 2).
Elsewhere, a Republican House lawmaker with oversight on nuclear weapon affairs is urging Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to ask senior Chinese officials whether some companies are illicitly aiding North Korea's development of road-transportable ICBMs.
North Korea showed off several large new missiles at a recent military parade that were carried on what appeared to be a massive Chinese-developed road-mobile launcher platform.
"Secretary Clinton is in China this week along with Treasury Secretary [Timothy] Geithner. I expect that the very top of their agenda will be the apparent material support for North Korea’s road mobile ballistic missile program provided by state-owned Chinese firms, and their subsidiaries," House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee Chairman Michael Turner (R-Ohio) said in a press release.
"Such support means that China is enabling North Korea to deploy road mobile ballistic missiles, which could be tipped with nuclear warheads and aimed at the United States. Such cooperation therefore poses a direct threat to the security of the American people and the administration must demand an immediate halt to such activity," Turner continued (U.S. Representative Michael Turner release, May 1).