U.S. calls on U.N. to enforce sanctions on N. Korea

The United States on Friday called on the United Nations to fully comply with sanctions on North Korea until the regime gives up its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert issued the call in a statement welcoming a U.N. committee's decision to deflag and ban port entry to three vessels suspected of engaging in illicit activities with the North.

The Shang Yuan Bao, New Regent and Kum Un San 3 are accused of carrying out banned ship-to-ship transfers of refined petroleum to North Korean ships.

"North Korea's illicit imports of refined petroleum have substantially breached the U.N. sanctions cap on refined petroleum by making illicit transfers, and we urge that Member States immediately end all sales of refined petroleum to North Korea," the spokeswoman said. "We call on the 1718 Committee to formally recognize this breach."

Nauert said the U.S. has deployed aircraft and surface vessels to detect and disrupt the illicit maritime activities.

"The U.S. remains committed to achieving the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea," she said. "The full enforcement of North Korean-related U.N. Security Council Resolutions is crucial to a successful outcome. The international community must continue to enforce and implement U.N. Security Council Resolutions until North Korea denuclearizes."

The U.S. has vowed to maintain sanctions pressure on North Korea while also pushing diplomatic efforts to denuclearize the regime.

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are expected to hold a second summit early next year following their first one in Singapore in June.

At the first summit, Kim committed to work toward "complete" denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in exchange for security guarantees from the U.S.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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