The United States plans to impose tough sanctions on North Korea in retaliation for three missile tests on Wednesday. The Americans are submitting a resolution to the UN Security Council. The UN says a referendum will be held on Thursday.
China and Russia are likely to veto additional sanctions on the poorer communist country. However, the United States believes that “North Korea should be weakened by punitive measures that further restrict its ability to develop illegal weapons and ballistic missile programs.”
On Wednesday, three suspicious ballistic missiles were launched into the Sea of Japan within 45 minutes, known as the Baltic Sea in Korean. South Korean civil servants said at least one of the three missiles fired was an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). The other two were suspected to be short-range missiles (SRBMs), one of which failed.
All three missiles are the latest in a series of weapons tests by North Korea. Since the beginning of this year, North Korea has conducted 17 missile tests, including a long-range missile. However, UN resolutions prohibit Pyongyang from testing nuclear-capable ballistic missiles. Pyongyang is subject to severe international sanctions as a result of its nuclear weapons program.
The US draft resolution, which can be seen on the German news agency dpa, also includes sanctions against the North Korean hacker group Lazarus. According to the US, the group was responsible for the theft of about 570 million euros worth of cryptocurrency. Hacker attacks are seen as an important way for North Korea to fund its weapons programs. Lazarus’ assets will be frozen if the resolution is passed.
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