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UN, US close to imposing sanctions on North Korea

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Each of the five permanent Security Council members must agree upon the sanctions to be enacted, because each possesses a potential veto of any Security Council legislation. Sanctions agreed upon by all five permanent members would almost certainly be enacted.

Reuters reports that the US is also preparing its own financial sanctions against North Korea to punish it for illegal weapons sales and counterfeiting of US currency, according to a story Friday in the South Korean daily Chosun Ilbo. The story notes that the move parallels sanctions enacted for similar reasons by the Bush administration in 2005.

In 2005, the Bush administration imposed financial sanctions on the North over counterfeiting and drug-running. The move focused on a Macau bank and effectively shut off the North's access to the international financial system.
"If BDA (Banco Delta Asia in Macau) was against a single bank, this time it is about cutting off transactions with banks that are suspected of being involved in the North's WMD (weapons of mass destruction) trade," the newspaper report said.
The 2005 crackdown on BDA froze about $25 million in funds of Pyongyang's leadership. Most banks around the world steered clear of North Korean funds as a result, fearful of being snared themselves by U.S. financial authorities.
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