Einhorn details new North sanctions

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Einhorn details new North sanctions

New sanctions by Washington on North Korea will be combined with existing ones to more forcefully restrain the reclusive regime, a chief U.S. official said in an interview.

Robert Einhorn told the Voice of America that the U.S. has tracked down every trading company and individual in North Korea doing illegal business activities overseas and will freeze their assets. It was the first interview Einhorn has given since being made the U.S. government’s special adviser for nonproliferation and arms control.

Einhorn said the legal basis for past sanctions, which he called “existing authorities,” will be more actively applied and used to freeze assets of North Korean organizations, trading companies and individuals involved in terror or nuclear proliferation activities.

The new sanctions, on the other hand, will be focused on restraining other illegal activities such as trade in conventional weapons, luxury goods, tobacco, counterfeit bills and drugs, he said. He said the U.S. is drafting “authorities” to control those non-terror or nuclear proliferation areas. He said once the new authorities are arranged, the ability of the U.S. to freeze those illegal activities by the North will be strengthened. The details of the new sanctions will be announced by next week, he said.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the idea of new sanctions last Wednesday after a high-profile security meeting in Seoul.

Einhorn said the new sanctions, although coming after Seoul and Washington blamed the North for the sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan, are not solely in response to the Cheonan incident. “It’s a combination of things,” he said. “These measures have been in development for quite some time,” he said.

But, the sanctions will hold the North responsible for the Cheonan tragedy, he said, adding that the sanctions will send a strong message that the North should pay the price for its behavior and its disruption of stability in the region.

He said the new sanctions will be effective if the North stops provocations, returns to six-party talks and fulfills its nonproliferation obligations. He said he will visit South Korea as early as next week to talk about the new sanctions with officials.

Einhorn said the U.S. is also seeking active cooperation from the international community, including China, in implementing the new sanctions. He said he will visit China in late August.

By Kang Chan-ho, Chun Su-jin [joe@joongang.co.kr]
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