International Current Affairs

US calls for new U.N. sanctions against N.Korea 

The United States has decided to present a draft resolution in the U.N. Security Council aimed at imposing new sanctions on North Korea as it has successfully launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

Salient Highlights

An emergency meeting of the UNSC was called by the United States, Japan and South Korea to agree on a response to the North Korea’s ICBM test. In the emergency meeting, the US has said that the launch of an ICBM by the North Korea is a clear and sharp escalation. Under the new sanctions, the US has decided to use trade restrictions targeting those countries that continue to have dealings with North Korea. France has expressed its support for a new resolution.

In last year, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) had adopted two sanctions resolutions to curtail hard currency needed to fund North Korea’s military programs. Those resolutions paved the way for imposing bans on North Korea’s coal exports, which is its major source of revenue. In addition, the sanctions also placed restrictions on banking and provided for mandatory searches of all cargo to and from North Korea.

In total, so far six sets of sanctions have been imposed on North Korea since it has first tested an atomic device in 2006.

Background

Recently, North Korea had successfully test-fired its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Hwasong-14 into waters near Sea of Japan. The claim was confirmed by the United States. The launch appeared to be North Korea’s most successful missile test since its ballistic missile programme gathered pace in the late 1990s. Based on missile’s height and trajectory path, US scientists claim that missile could potentially be powerful enough to reach Alaska.  The missile had reached an altitude higher and flew longer than any of the North Korea’s previous similar tests. The missile had landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone. US has strongly condemned the launch and added that it will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea. The ICBM testing represents a new escalation of the threat to US and its allies and partners.

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Prime Minister Modi’s Israel Visit: Other Important Takeaways

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s three-day visit to Israel which is the first by an Indian prime minister to Israel resulted in the signing of seven agreements on areas including space, tech and agriculture. The other prominent takeaways of the visit are the following:

OCI card

Prime Minister Modi has assured faster facilitation of OCI cards for Jewish Citizens of Indian origin in Israel. He also assured that the OCI card will be given even to those people of Indian origin who had served in the Israeli government’s compulsory army service.

Air Connectivity

The launch of a new Air India flight connecting India and Israel was announced, the flight is expected to connect Delhi/Mumbai with Tel Aviv.

Israeli flower named after PM Modi

As a special gesture, a new fast growing Israeli Crysanthumun flower was named “MODI” after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during the Indian Premier’s visit to the Danziger flower farm, which is one of the leading floriculture companies of Israel having founded in 1953.

Strategic partnership

India and Israel have announced that they have elevated their ties to a strategic partnership as India has identified Israel as a major development and technological partner. Both countries have also agreed to combat growing radicalization and terrorism and expand co-operation in cyber security.

Indian Cultural Centre

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced the establishment of an Indian Cultural Centre in Israel to enhance people-to-people contacts between the two countries. Israel’s has also voiced its strong support to promote the practice of yoga by designating June 21 as International Yoga Day.

Israel India Innovation Initiative Fund (I4F)

The $40 million Israel India Innovation Initiative Fund has been launched as a five-year technology fund with an aim at growing the business relationship between both the countries. The similar type of fund had boosted Israel’s ties with that of the US in the past 40 years.

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