U.S. issues sanctions targeting N. Korea

Contact Counsellor

U.S. issues sanctions targeting N. Korea

The United States recently imposed sanctions on two Russian banks, a North Korean company and a person it accused of supporting North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction program, increasing pressure on Pyongyang over its renewed ballistic missile launches.


  • The American move came a day after China and Russia vetoed a U.S.-led push to impose more United Nations sanctions on North Korea over its ballistic missile launches, publicly splitting the U.N. Security Council for the first time since it started punishing Pyongyang in 2006.
  • The vetoes came despite what the United States says was a sixth test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) by North Korea this year and signs that Pyongyang is preparing to conduct its first nuclear test since 2017.

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North Korea Missile tests

  • North Korea in february this year conducted its biggest missile launch since 2017. It claimed the missile which it test fired recently is extremely powerful and can travel hundreds of miles.
    • It also has the ability to strike the US Northern Pacific command Guam.
    • The test was an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM), which would be the biggest missile tested since November 2017.
    • The missile reached an altitude of 2,000 km and flew for 30 minutes to a distance of 800 km.
    • Finally, it landed in the Sea of Japan.
  • North Korea has conducted a record number of seven missile launches in the month of January 2022 alone – which was strongly condemned by the US, South Korea, Japan, and other nations.
  • The UN prohibits North Korea from ballistic and nuclear weapons tests, and has imposed strict sanctions, but the East Asian state regularly defies the ban.
  • Later, in May 2022, North Korea fired a suspected ballistic missile toward the sea, the latest in a series of weapons demonstrations this year and just hours after it confirmed its first case of the coronavirus since the pandemic began.
    • This launch was North Korea’s 16th round of tests this year.
    • There are also signs that the North is preparing to conduct its first nuclear test in five years at a remote testing ground in its northeast.

U.N. Security Council

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  • It is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security.
  • Its powers include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of international sanctions, and the authorization of military action through Security Council resolutions.
  • It is the only UN body with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member states.
  • The Security Council consists of fifteen members. Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, and the United States—serve as the body’s five permanent members.
  • These permanent members can veto any substantive Security Council resolution, including those on the admission of new member states or candidates for Secretary-General.
  • The Security Council also has 10 non-permanent members, elected on a regional basis to serve two-year terms. The body’s presidency rotates monthly among its members.

Exam Track

Prelims Takeaway

  • UNSC
  • Types of missiles

Mains Track

Q. How are ballisitic missiles different from Cruise missiles? Also discuss the efficiency standards of both types of missiles.