U.S. extends sanctions against North

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U.S. extends sanctions against North

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday extended economic sanctions against North Korea for another year amid lingering tension over the North’s nuclear and missile programs.

In a statement to Congress, Obama said the extension is aimed at dealing with North Korea’s “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States constituted by the existence and risk of proliferation of weapons-usable fissile material on the Korean Peninsula.” The U.S. has extended its sanctions on North Korea, also subject to international sanctions, each year.

Tension persists on the Korean Peninsula following the North’s failed rocket launch on April 13, prompting the U.N. Security Council to tighten sanctions on Pyongyang.

South Korea and the U.S. have called on North Korea’s new leader, Kim Jong-un, to stop its policy of provocations and improve its human rights record, but Pyongyang has responded to the call with threats.

On Sunday, North Korea criticized U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for what it called her “reckless” criticism of its human rights conditions.Yonhap

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