North Korea Current Affairs

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UNSC imposes tough sanctions against North Korea over nuclear test

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) unanimously adopted the toughest sanctions ever imposed on North Korea in response to its fourth nuclear test and rocket launch.

In this regard, the 15-member council passed a resolution drafted by the United States and backed by China.

Sanctions imposed

  • All countries must inspect cargo in all airports and sea ports destined for and coming from North Korea.
  • Ban or severe restrictions on exports of iron and iron ore, coal, gold, titanium and rare earth minerals from North Korea and prohibits the supply.
  • Ban on aviation fuel exports to North Korea, including kerosene-type rocket fuel.
  • Tightens an arms embargo by banning sales of small arms and bars vessels suspected of carrying illegal goods for North Korea from ports.
  • UN member states will expel North Korean diplomats engaged in smuggling or other illegal activities.
  • Countries working in North Korea’s financial and banking sector are obliged to freeze assets of companies and other entities linked to its missile and nuclear programmes.

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North Korea’s Yongbyon nuclear facility resumes operation

North Korea’s main nuclear facility at the Yongbyon complex has resumed normal operations after it was shut down in 2007.

With this development it appears that North Korea is intensifying nuclear and ballistic missile development efforts in quality and quantity.

Yongbyon’s reactor was shut down in 2007 under a six-nation aid-for-disarmament accord. But the dictatorial Kim Jong Un regime vowed to restart it again in 2013, following its third nuclear test and amid high regional tensions.

The reactor at this nuclear facility has been the source of plutonium for North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme. If it is re-started, the reactor could potentially enrich plutonium to make one nuclear bomb per year.

Presently, North Korea is under United Nations economic sanctions for its strategic nuclear weapons programme and it was further tightened after its 2013 test.

North Korea’s nuclear weapons Test and NPT

  • In 2009, North Korea had declared that it had developed a nuclear weapon and has become a fully-fledged nuclear power. The communist country probably possesses a small stockpile of relatively simple nuclear weapons.
  • Nuclear Test: North Korea had successfully conducted its first nuclear test in October 2006 with yield less than a kiloton.
  • The second test was conducted on May 25, 2009 with estimated yield between 2 and 7 kilotons. It is also believed that in 2013, third underground nuclear test was carried.
  • Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT): North Korea is fourth fully-fledged nuclear country after India, Israel and Pakistan which has never joined the NPT. Actually, North Korea had acceded to the NPT in 1985 but never came into compliance and withdrawn itself in 2003.

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South, North Korea reach agreement to defuse crisis

South and North Korea have reached an agreement to defuse a crisis that had pushed the two rivals to the brink of armed conflict recently.

In this regard both nations have issued a joint statement which includes series of measures.

Key facts

  • North Korea has expressed regret and publicly apologised over mine blasts which had occurred earlier in August 2015 in demilitarized zone between both countries.
  • The mine had seriously injured two South Korean soldiers on border patrol.
  • In retaliation for the mine blasts, South Korea had resumed loudspeaker propaganda broadcasts into North Korea.
  • But in joint statement it has agreed to halt loudspeaker propaganda broadcasts into North Korea.
  • Both countries also agreed to work towards resumption of reunions for families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War in September 2015.
  • They also agreed to hold official talks in either capital city Seoul or Pyongyang at a date to be decided.

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