South Korea, Japan Impose New Sanctions on North Korea
South Korea and Japan have imposed unilateral sanctions on North Korea.
The announcement of the sanctions Friday followed Pyongyang's promise to retaliate against new U.N. sanctions imposed earlier this week.
South Korea and Japan already had sanctions in place against North Korea. The new sanctions, however, are mainly symbolic as trade and exchange between the North and its two neighbors are largely non-existent because of existing sanctions, especially those imposed by the United Nations. But North Korea's latest round of nuclear tests has prompted its neighbors to announce the new restrictions.
South Korea is banning the entry of foreign missile and nuclear experts, if their visits to North Korea are deemed to be a threat to South Korea.
Japan said Friday it will not allow ships into the country that have called at ports in North Korea. Japan said it will also freeze the assets of groups and individuals associated with North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.
On Wednesday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously voted to impose a new round of targeted economic sanctions against North Korea for its September 9 nuclear test.
The sanctions take aim at sectors of the defiant nation’s economy that generate cash to fund its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, and could cost Pyongyang more than $800 million a year in lost funds – the equivalent of a quarter of its total export revenues.
UN Chief Apologizes for 2010 Cholera Outbreak in Haiti
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon apologized to the people of Haiti on Thursday, more than six years after U.N. peacekeepers were blamed for causing a deadly cholera epidemic on the island nation.
“On behalf of the United Nations, I want to say very clearly: we apologize to the Haitian people,” Ban told an informal meeting of U.N. member states. “We simply did not do enough with regard to the cholera outbreak and its spread in Haiti. We are profoundly sorry for our role,” he added.
Ban’s apology, his most direct to date, fell short of admitting that U.N. peacekeepers brought the potentially fatal illness to Haiti. “This has cast a shadow upon the relationship between the United Nations and the people of Haiti,” he said. “It is a blemish on the reputation of U.N. peacekeeping and the organization worldwide.”
It is widely accepted that Nepalese peacekeepers who were sent to assist Haiti in its recovery after the devastating 2010 earthquake, contaminated a branch of the Artibonite River with cholera. The river is the country’s main water source for tens of thousands of Haitians. Subsequently more than 9,000 people died of the disease, and some 800,000 were sickened. Some of the victims sought compensation, suing the United Nations in U.S. District court, but the court ruled that the international organization is protected by diplomatic immunity.
The United Nations released a 16-page report on Thursday which details a two-track “new approach” to cholera in Haiti. It calls for $400 million in initial funding.