The United States is to impose new sanctions on North Korea, including the purchase and sale of arms as well as the freezing of individuals’ assets.
American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made the announcement during a visit to the demilitarized zone separating the south from the communist north.
“Today,” she said, “I am announcing a series of measures to increase our ability to prevent North Korea’s proliferation, to halt their illicit activities to fund their weapons programmes and to discourage further provocative actions.
“First we will implement new country-specific sanctions aimed at North Korea’s sale and procurement of arms and related material.”
The move is being seen by regional analysts as retaliation for the sinking of a South Korean warship which the North denies playing any part in.
The sanctions also come before joint South Korean and US naval exercises are due to get underway.