US Senate passes bill to hit North Korea with harsher sanctions

Feb 11, 2016

A satellite put into orbit by North Korea at the weekend does not appear to be transmitting, but it is worrying that the rocket that took it there delivered twice the payload of Pyongyang’s previous launch, the head of the U.S. Army’s Missile Defense Command said on Wednesday, APA reports quoting Reuters.

The USS North Carolina (SSN-777), a Virginia-class submarine with over eight years in service, with a cruising speed of 46kph, can carry Tomahawk cruise missiles and submarine-launched torpedoes.

In September 2014, Pyongyang drafted a new operational regulation – rejected by Seoul – that would have allowed the North to detain South Korean businessmen in Kaesong in the event of an unresolved business dispute.

The spokesperson claimed the United States is also considering dispatching two new combat aircraft with stealth capabilities, possibly a B-2 bomber and an F-22 Raptor fighter plane, to South Korea.

Yet any sanctions Congress imposes are unlikely to deter North Korea, which fired a long-range rocket on Sunday and conducted a nuclear test last month in violation of United Nations resolutions.

The House of Representatives passed a similar bill last month.

“The situation in the Korea peninsula is at its most unstable point since the armistice, ” said Gardner, referring to the 1953 agreement to end the Korean War.

Seoul has also pledged to assist and compensate South Korean companies whose operations would be affected by the closure.

South Korean workers have started shutting down a jointly run industrial park in North Korea.

North Korea has not officially responded to Seoul’s decision to shutter the complex.

By some measures, the consequences of a Kaesong closure to the South Korean economy are negligible, with the annual output of the complex accounting for just 0.04% of South Korea’s annual gross domestic product, according to South Korea’s finance ministry.

“It views the regime in Pyongyang as a brother Communist system that must survive at all costs in order to prove to the world that China is not the last Communist regime on the planet”, Fisher said.

Visitors use binoculars to see the North Korean territory from the unification observatory in Paju, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016.

The complex, which opened in 2004, has served as a major revenue source for the cash-strapped North, while South Korea has benefited from cheap but skilled North Korean labor. In a statement, the association of South Korean companies in Kaesong denounced the government’s decision as “entirely incomprehensible and unjust”. “It should be a chance for North Korea to realize [its wrongdoings]”. “To summarize what I told the council members, this time we need a ‘terminating resolution'”.

Jang’s remarks reflected a general sense of outrage among Kaesong’s South Korean business community over the shutdown order. Some South Korean snacks have become popular among North Korean workers. “Third-country ships that visited North Korea shall be also banned from entering”, it added.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell R-Ky. center walks with Sen. Pat Toomey R-Pa. left to the chamber for the vote to impose more stringent sanctions on North Korea for willfully violating international law by pushing ahead with its nuclear weapo


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