USA/North Korea — Clinton Announces New Sanctions for North Korea

SEOUL, South Korea, July 21, 2010 — Sec­re­tary of State Hillary Rod­ham Clin­ton today announced new mea­sures designed to bol­ster efforts to pre­vent North Kore­an weapons pro­lif­er­a­tion, curb the illic­it activ­i­ties that fund its weapons pro­grams and dis­cour­age fur­ther provoca­tive actions.

Clin­ton announced the mea­sures here dur­ing a news con­fer­ence fol­low­ing today’s “2‑plus‑2 Talks,” in which she and Defense Sec­re­tary Robert M. Gates met with South Kore­an For­eign Min­is­ter Yu Myung-hwan and Defense Min­is­ter Kim Tae-young to dis­cuss a broad range of issues.

The sanc­tions, Clin­ton said, strength­en enforce­ment of two Unit­ed Nations Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil res­o­lu­tions by tak­ing aim glob­al­ly at indi­vid­u­als and enti­ties that fund or facil­i­tate North Korea’s pro­lif­er­a­tion activ­i­ties.

“Let me stress that these mea­sures are not direct­ed at the peo­ple of North Korea, who have suf­fered too long due to the mis­guid­ed and malign pri­or­i­ties of their gov­ern­ment,” she said. “They are direct­ed at the desta­bi­liz­ing, illic­it and provoca­tive poli­cies pur­sued by that gov­ern­ment.”

Clin­ton said North Korea can achieve the secu­ri­ty and inter­na­tion­al accep­tance it seeks by halt­ing its bel­liger­ent and threat­en­ing behav­ior and by tak­ing irre­versible steps to ful­fill its com­mit­ment to jet­ti­son its nuclear arms pro­gram and com­ply with inter­na­tion­al law. In that case, she said, sanc­tions would be lift­ed, North Korea would receive ener­gy assis­tance and oth­er eco­nom­ic help, U.S.-North Kore­an rela­tions would be nor­mal­ized, and a per­ma­nent peace agree­ment would replace the cur­rent armistice on the Kore­an penin­su­la. “But as long as the North Kore­an lead­er­ship takes a dif­fer­ent choice – con­tin­u­ing provo­ca­tion, defi­ance and bel­liger­ence – it will con­tin­ue to suf­fer the con­se­quences,” Clin­ton said.

South Kore­an For­eign Min­is­ter Yu Myung-hwan, speak­ing through an inter­preter at the news con­fer­ence, said today’s talks were “far-reach­ing and in-depth,” touch­ing on secu­ri­ty, the strength of the U.S.-South Kore­an alliance, North Korea, and region­al and glob­al coop­er­a­tion.

The talks includ­ed a brief­ing on progress in devel­op­ing a plan for oper­a­tional wartime con­trol of all forces on the Kore­an penin­su­la to trans­fer to the South Kore­an mil­i­tary by Decem­ber 2015, Yu said. The final plan will be pro­duced in time for a U.S.-South Kore­an con­sul­ta­tive meet­ing sched­uled in Octo­ber, he added.

The four lead­ers also approved a plan for upcom­ing mil­i­tary com­bined exer­cis­es involv­ing U.S. and South Kore­an forces, Yu said, and they observed that the U.S.-South Korea alliance is emerg­ing as a glob­al part­ner­ship, as evi­denced by close coop­er­a­tion in recon­struc­tion and sta­bi­liza­tion in places such as Afghanistan and Haiti.

“Both sides not­ed that today’s meet­ing was very pro­duc­tive and use­ful in fur­ther­ing the devel­op­ment of a strate­gic [U.S. South Kore­an] alliance,” Yu said, “and decid­ed to con­sid­er hold­ing fur­ther for­eign and defense min­is­ters meet­ings as nec­es­sary.”

Asked if he believes new North Kore­an attacks are immi­nent and whether the upcom­ing mil­i­tary exer­cis­es might pro­voke North Korea rather than deter it from aggres­sion, Gates said the poten­tial suc­ces­sion process for North Kore­an leader Kim Jong-il, who report­ed­ly is seri­ous­ly ill, is a fac­tor, and he not­ed North Korea’s sink­ing of the freighter Cheo­nan in March that killed 46 South Kore­an sailors as one exam­ple that shows vig­i­lance is nec­es­sary.

“There has been some indi­ca­tion over the last num­ber of months that as the suc­ces­sion process gets under way in the North that there might be provo­ca­tions,” Gates said, “par­tic­u­lar­ly since the sink­ing of the Cheo­nan. … I think tak­ing steps that fur­ther strength­en deter­rence and also demon­strate our deter­mi­na­tion not to be intim­i­dat­ed are very impor­tant.

“Yes­ter­day we briefed in some detail on the first exer­cise that will take place begin­ning in a week or so,” he con­tin­ued, “and we have re-com­mit­ted to the fact that we will con­tin­ue these bilat­er­al exer­cis­es, that we will con­duct them both in the East Sea and the West Sea.”

The exer­cis­es also send a mes­sage that the U.S.-South Kore­an alliance is very strong and very close, and that the two nations will act togeth­er going for­ward in deter­ring fur­ther provo­ca­tions, the sec­re­tary added.

Lat­er, South Kore­an Pres­i­dent Lee Myung-bak host­ed a din­ner for Clin­ton and Gates at the Blue House, his offi­cial res­i­dence.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)