Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Exclusive: Sanctions delay North Korea's atom bomb work, U.N. says

Increasingly tough financial sanctions, an arms embargo and other international restrictions on trade with North Korea have significantly delayed expansion of Pyongyang's illicit nuclear arms program, according to a confidential report by a U.N. panel of experts seen by Reuters on Tuesday.

The latest annual report by the U.N. sanctions-monitoring group comes as the United States seeks to persuade China that applying economic and other sanctions against its neighbor is crucial to halting the program.

"While the imposition of sanctions has not halted the development of nuclear and ballistic missile programs, it has in all likelihood considerably delayed (North Korea's) timetable and, through the imposition of financial sanctions and the bans on the trade in weapons, has choked off significant funding which would have been channeled into its prohibited activities," the 52-page report said.