U.S. Senate to vote on hitting North Korea with tougher sanctions

WASHINGTON - The Senate is considering hitting North Korea with more stringent sanctions in the wake of Pyongyang's satellite launch and technical advances that U.S.

See Full Article

intelligence agencies say the reclusive Asian nation is making in its nuclear weapons program.

The bill that senators are expected to vote on Wednesday targets North Korea's ability to access the money it needs for developing miniaturized nuclear warheads and the long-range missiles to deliver them, according to the legislation's backers.

The House overwhelmingly approved a similar measure last month and there is strong bipartisan support in the Senate for the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act.

"The kind of belligerence we've seen from Pyongyang must not be ignored," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday.

North Korea on Sunday launched a long-range rocket carrying an Earth observation satellite into space. The launch, which came about a month after the country's fourth nuclear test, was quickly condemned by world leaders as a potential threat to regional and global security.

Washington, Seoul and others consider the launch a banned test of missile technology. That assessment is based on Pyongyang's open efforts to manufacture nuclear-tipped missiles capable of striking the U.S. mainland and that the technology used to launch a rocket carrying a satellite into space can be applied to fire a long-range missile.

In the annual assessment of global threats delivered to Congress on Tuesday, Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper said North Korea has expanded a uranium enrichment facility and restarted a plutonium reactor that could start recovering material for nuclear weapons in weeks or months.

Both findings will deepen concern that North Korea is not only making technical advances in its nuclear weapons program, but is working to expand what is thought to be a small nuclear arsenal. U.S.-based experts have estimated that North Korea may have about 10 bombs, but that could grow to between 20 and 100 by 2020.

Clapper said that Pyongyang has not flight

tested a long-range, nuclear-armed missile but is committed to its development.

Underscoring the difficulty of understanding North Korea's actual intentions, Clapper said the U.S. does not know whether North Korea would use nuclear weapons for defensive or retaliatory purposes.

"We have long assessed that Pyongyang's nuclear capabilities are intended for deterrence, international prestige, and coercive diplomacy," he said.

North Korea already faces wide-ranging sanctions from the United States and under existing UN resolutions is prohibited from trading in weapons and importing luxury goods.

At the UN Security Council, the United States and China have been working on the text of a new sanctions resolution since North Korea's Jan. 6 nuclear test and last weekend's rocket launch. The council pledged to adopt "significant new measures" at an emergency meeting Sunday. The United States, backed by its Western allies, Japan and South Korea, want tough new sanctions that would impact North Korea's ability to do business. But diplomats say China, the North's ally and key protector in the Security Council, is reluctant to impose economic measures that could cause North Korea's economy to collapse.

The new legislation that the Senate is considering seeks additional sanctions - both mandatory and at the discretion of the president - against the government of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and those who assist it.

It would require the investigation and punishment of those who knowingly import into North Korea any goods or technology related to weapons of mass destruction; those who engage in human rights abuses, money laundering and counterfeiting that supports the Kim regime; and those who engage in "cyber-terrorism."

The bill also bans foreign assistance to any country that provides lethal military equipment to North Korea, and targets Pyongyang's trade in key industrial commodities.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously approved the legislation.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Mourning, memorials amid probe into warehouse fire

    World News CBC News
    As investigators searched for signs of a crime in the fire that killed at least 33 in an Oakland warehouse during a late-night dance party, survivors and teary-eyed friends of those who perished viewed the charred building from a distance, placed flowers on several small memorials and embraced each other to mourn their losses. Source
  • Schools closed as N.S. set to debate legislation to impose teachers' contract

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX - Classes have been cancelled for all students at public schools across Nova Scotia on the first day of a labour disruption that could last through the week. Teachers were being allowed in public schools, but students are being kept out after the provincial Liberals announced the closures Saturday. Source
  • Man rescued after car falls into sinkhole in San Antonio

    World News Toronto Sun
    THE ASSOCIATED PRESS First posted: Monday, December 05, 2016 08:34 AM EST | Updated: Monday, December 05, 2016 08:38 AM EST Source
  • Public servant steals nearly $1 million in computer parts from DND

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    A former federal public servant who stole nearly $1 million in computer parts from the Department of National Defence and sold some of them on the classified website Kijiji has pleaded guilty to fraud and breach of trust. Source
  • 'We have lost everything': Syrians return to ravaged Aleppo

    World News Toronto Sun
    ALEPPO, Syria — Amina Hamawy burst into tears and then fainted when she returned to eastern Aleppo to find that looters had ransacked her home. “Where am I? What happened?” she asked after her husband and daughter revived her. Source
  • The long trip home: evacuees return to Kashechewan after 2014 flood

    Canada News CBC News
    It's so long, KashKap. Four hundred evacuees from Kashechewan First Nation to prepare to return home, two years after flooding forced them to set up temporary homes — and lives —in Kapuskasing. The evacuees have been staying in apartments, paid for by the government, while new homes were built to replace the mouldy houses they used to live in. Source
  • Confusion over SIDS, SUDI and an undetermined cause of death in infants

    Canada News CBC News
    Death is never an easy conversation, especially when it involves children. But one Dr. Dirk Huyer does regularly as Ontario's Chief Coroner. He estimates about 40 per cent of those are him explaining a complicated answer to grieving parents: the child's cause of death is undetermined. Source
  • Investigators seek clues in Oakland warehouse fatal fire, friends mourn

    World News CTV News
    OAKLAND, Calif. -- As investigators searched for signs of a crime in the fire that killed at least 33 in an Oakland warehouse during a late-night dance party, survivors and teary-eyed friends of those who perished viewed the charred building from a distance, placed flowers on several small memorials and embraced each other to mourn their losses. Source
  • Trump taps former rival Ben Carson as housing secretary [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald Trump, moving to complete formation of his Cabinet and decide other key administration posts, chose former campaign rival Ben Carson on Monday to be secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Source
  • Nova Scotia teachers, province dig in heels as students kept out of class

    Canada News CBC News
    There's a bit of chaos in Nova Scotia this morning — schools are closed and parents are scrambling to find child care as the dispute between the provincial teachers union and the government spills over into the everyday lives of residents. Source