President Obama Imposes More North Korea Sanctions After Nuclear Tests
Mar 17, 2016 12:47 AM EDT
United States President Barack Obama has signed a new executive order that has been passed by the Congress regarding new sanctions against North Korea. This comes after the nuclear and ballistic missile tests were ordered by the country's leader, Kim Jong Un.
In a report by USA Today, Obama said in a message to the Congress that the order is not targeted at the people of North Korea but to their government as their recent activities are threatening the United States and other countries. The nuclear test by North Korea was made in January 6 while its ballistic missile test took place in February 7.
The order also targets North Koreans who are working in the banking, energy, mining, and transportation industries as they help acquire nuclear or missile components or software. The order also targets those who engaged in human rights abuses or human trafficking as well as those involved in hacking, censorship, or sanctions evasion.
The executive order was signed on Tuesday but the details were only released on Wednesday afternoon. The Treasury Department immediately applied the sanctions to 17 government officials and organizations in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Those affected are the Workers' Party of Korea Propaganda and Agitation Department and 20 vessels that had transactions with North Korea. These vessels are prevented from entering U.S. ports, carrying U.S. Cargo or items from them being sold for U.S. dollars, Newsweek reported.
BBC also reported that the order freezes North Korean government property in America and bans the U.S. exports or investment in North Korea. Aside from Americans, non-Americans dealing with North Korea are also to be blacklisted.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement that the U.S. and the global community will not tolerate "North Korea's illicit nuclear and ballistic missile activities, and we will continue to impose costs on North Korea" until they comply with the international obligations set.
Tensions between North Korea and U.S. were already high after the North sentenced an American student to 15 years of hard labor on Wednesday over claims of severe crimes against the country. The U.S. demanded the release of Otto Warmbier, 21, who was arrested for trying to steal a propaganda sign from a hotel.