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Obama Suggests Additional Sanctions on N. Korea

Posted July. 04, 2009 10:02,   


U.S. President Barack Obama yesterday suggested his willingness to impose additional sanctions on North Korea if the communist state refuses to return to the negotiating table.

“There potentially is room for more later,” he told the Associated Press in an interview. He sent a warning to Pyongyang that Washington could impose sanctions in addition to those led by the United Nations and a halt to humanitarian food aid. He did not elaborate, however, on what the additional sanctions will be.

President Obama expressed optimism over getting an international agreement for even tougher action if North Korea persists in defying demands that it dismantle its nuclear weapons and stop production. The U.N. sanctions, for instance, did not include one thing the U.S. government wanted: allowing the use of military force to board and inspect ships suspected of carrying banned weapons.

The U.S. president also denied that Russia is the obstacle in his getting approval to board North Korean ships.

He said he has seen "fairly remarkable cooperation” from Russia and China on the matter, adding the sanctions imposed after North Korea`s nuclear tests and missile launches have been robust.

"What we`re also trying to do is to keep a door open for North Korea to start acting in a responsible way; to recognize that a denuclearized Korean Peninsula is the only way that they are going to achieve the kind of commercial ties and development opportunities that can be good for their people. And we want them to know that path is still available,” he said.

Obama`s Press Secretary Robert Gibbs also said the primary concern of the administration is to conduct brisk searches to prevent the communist country from exporting weapons or nuclear-related materials.