U.S. wants more sanctions on North Korea

| Tuesday, March 5, 2013, 7:06 p.m.

UNITED NATIONS — Backed by China, the United States introduced a U.N. resolution on Tuesday that would impose fresh financial and diplomatic sanctions on North Korea and tighten measures aimed at preventing Pyongyang from importing or exporting technology for its nuclear or ballistic missile programs.

The United States proposed the new round of sanctions in a draft resolution three weeks after North Korea conducted its third, and most advanced, nuclear test.

China's public support for the move underscored its displeasure with its unpredictable neighbor, which has repeatedly dismissed Beijing's appeals to halt its nuclear tests. But at China's insistence, the sanctions were crafted to impede North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs without blocking its legal trade.

Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, circulated the draft resolution to the Security Council's 15 members, ending weeks of closely guarded negotiations with China's U.N. envoy, Li Baodong. The draft condemns North Korea's nuclear and missile programs and imposes new restrictions on banks conducting business with Pyongyang.

The latest proposal would be the fourth round of sanctions imposed on North Korea in unsuccessful attempts to rein in its nuclear ambitions. Rice called them “some of the toughest” ever imposed by the United Nations.

With the support of China, the North's strongest ally, the sanctions could be adopted later this week. All 15 members of the Security Council condemned the latest nuclear test on Feb. 12.

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