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North Korea: the US imposes new sanctions after the launch of a spy satellite

© Agenzia Nova - Reproduction reserved

The United States has imposed additional sanctions on the North Korea yesterday, following the launch of a military spy satellite carried out by Pyongyang last week. In coordination with Australia, Japan and South Korea, the US Treasury Department announced measures against eight individuals and entities who facilitate the evasion of sanctions to benefit Pyongyang's weapons programs, and a group of hackers who collects intelligence for North Korea. The eight individuals allegedly worked in countries including China and Russia as agents for North Korea, helping it obtain money and technology needed to develop ballistic missiles and other weapons, the department said. The cyber espionage group is known as "Kimsuky", and is said to be affiliated with North Korea's General Reconnaissance Department, which, according to the US department, is responsible for the theft of sensitive information from people employed by government agencies, think tanks and media outlets in countries such as Japan, South Korea and United States. “North Korea's use of 'overseas workers, money launderers, cyber espionage, and illicit financing continues to threaten international security and our allies in the region,'” Brian Nelson, Under Secretary for North Korea, said in a statement. terrorism and the Treasury Department's financial intelligence. Among those sanctioned is Green Pine Associated Corp., controlled by the North Korean secret service and already subject to sanctions by the United States and the United Nations.

The Security Council of the United Nations was divided this week over whether to condemn North Korea's launch of a military spy satellite last week. Since December 2017, the world organization's top security body has failed to take tangible action, such as passing a resolution or declaration of sanctions, in response to the North's use of ballistic missile technology. "(There North Korea) is shamelessly trying to develop its own nuclear weapons delivery systems,” Linda Thomas-Greenfield, US ambassador to the United Nations, said yesterday. “Yet, there are two permanent members who have refused to condemn this dangerous launch and others like it,” the US envoy said, apparently referring to Russia and China, which hold veto rights.

The North Korean ambassador Kim Song defended his country's Nov. 21 launch of a carrier rocket to put the spy satellite into orbit, saying the latter was needed by the North "to get a clear view of the serious military movements of the United States and its followers." “This is a legitimate and fair exercise of self-defense rights that fully belongs to the legal sphere of our self-defense,” Kim said. Representatives of Russia and China said that frequent military exercises involving the United States, South Korea and the Japan near the Korean Peninsula have increased tensions in the region. Kimihiro Ishikane, the Japanese representative to the United Nations, said: “We should not be deceived by any attempt to justify North Korea's ambition to pursue illicit weapons of mass destruction programs.”

The leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, said the launch of the country's first military spy satellite was an exercise of its right to self-defense. This was reported by North Korean state media, according to which Kim visited the National Aerospace Technology Administration (Nata) last Thursday - the national aerospace research agency, born from a reorganization of the sector carried out last month - to congratulate the scientists and space technicians who made the launch's success possible. The placement of North Korea's first military satellite into Earth orbit was an "eye-opening event" in the face of "dangerous and aggressive" initiatives by hostile forces, Kim said, quoted by the official news agency "Korean Central News Agency” (“Kcna”). There North Korea hosted a reception last week to celebrate the launch, during which Prime Minister Kim Tok Hun said the satellite would make North Korea's military "the best army in the world with the ability to strike anywhere in the world."

The satellite, baptized Malligyong-1, was launched aboard a “carrier rocket” just before 23pm on Tuesday 21 November, local time, from the Tongchang-ri launch site, and successfully entered the Planned orbit. The launch, which triggered an air raid warning in southern Japan, drew condemnation from the governments of Japan, South Korea and the United States. The authorities of Pyongyang had previously notified Japan of their intention to launch a satellite into orbit between Wednesday 22 November and Friday 89 December. The launch takes place 24 days after the previous attempt, which failed last August 31 due to a problem with the rocket engine. The first test dates back to May XNUMXst. Seoul had asked Pyongyang not to proceed with a further launch, which it said violates United Nations Security Council resolutions banning North Korea's missile program.

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