The United Nations Security Council sent a clear and united message today when they voted unanimously to tighten sanctions on North Korea following the nation’s recent nuclear test and missile firings. The detonation on May 25 of the suspected nuclear device violated the 1953 armistice.
U.N. Resolution 1874 includes a number of measures aimed at stopping North Korea’s nuclear proliferation, including tougher inspections of cargo, an expanded arms embargo, and new financial restrictions on North Korea, curbing loans and money transfers that serve as funding for their nuclear program.
In remarks today following the vote on Resolution 1874, United States Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo said that North Korea chose a path of provocation, and now they must face the consequences. She said that the United States welcomes the strong and united response to North Korea’s nuclear test, and is committed to implementing the provisions outlined by the Security Council:
The message of this resolution is clear: North Korea’s behavior is unacceptable to the international community, and the international community is determined to respond. North Korea should return without conditions to a process of peaceful dialogue. It should honor its previous commitments to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. It should shun provocation and proliferation. But for now, its choices have led it to face markedly stronger sanctions from the international community.
This resolution condemns North Korea’s nuclear test in the strongest terms. It strengthens and enhances sanctions on North Korea in five critically important areas: by imposing a total embargo on arms exports from North Korea and significantly expanding the ban on arms imports; by creating a wholly new framework for states to cooperate in the inspection of ships and aircraft suspected to be carrying weapons of mass destruction or other banned goods; by calling on states and international financial institutions to disrupt the flow of funds that could support North Korea’s missile, nuclear, or proliferation activities; by committing to designate for targeted sanctions additional goods, entities, and individuals involved in North Korea’s illicit behavior; and, finally, by strengthening the mechanisms to monitor and tighten the implementation of this toughened new sanctions regime. These measures are innovative, they are robust, and they are unprecedented.
Ambassador Susan Rice, in comments at today’s press briefing, described the resolution as "a very robust, tough regime with teeth that will bite North Korea":
Well, first of all, it would be unwise for the United States or other members of the Security Council to fail to take strong action in response to a very provocative and illegal action on the part of North Korea out of concern that they may take strong action. I mean, the point is that we needed to demonstrate -- and today we have demonstrated -- that provocative, reckless actions come at a cost and that North Korea will pay a price for its actions.
And it is obviously the case that they have behaved irresponsibly in the past and we would not be surprised to see them behave irresponsibly in the future. We will be focused, as I said earlier, on the full and effective implementation of this sanctions regime on our part and that of others. And we believe that its full implementation will have a substantial impact on North Korea.
We're working with China and Russia and South Korea, Japan, other neighboring states who have a great stake, as we do, in the issue of regional security and stability. They went along with these measures because they also believe that a strong signal needed to be sent to North Korea, and we fully expect them to implement these cooperatively with us and others.