Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Aim of sanctions to cripple North Korea’s arms sales

The top US envoy on arms control says that new sanctions on North Korea will make it much harder for Kim Jong-il’s government to import military supplies and to profit from arms sales.Robert Einhorn, whose title is special adviser on proliferation and arms control at the State Department, said the strengthened measures were to keep North Korea from getting funds for its nuclear and missile programs, and also to stop the import of luxury goods for the elite surrounding North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

Mr. Einhorn's visit to Seoul infused a certain degree of confidence that Washington is determined to add teeth to sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council last year. The new sanctions are expected to go into effect in several weeks. While the list of targeted companies is yet to be made public, the sanctions are expected to impose harsh penalties on any financial institutions and other companies through which North Korea's top officials have been depositing huge sums over the years from foreign arms sales, including missiles exported to clients in the Middle East.

Their real effectiveness, he says, is "how much pressure the US will exert" on foreign banks to refuse to deal with North Korean funds. The US cannot order them but can force compliance by banning their dealing inside the US or with US institutions anywhere.

Christian Science Monitor

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