Moscow joins the UN and signs sanctions against Pyongyang
Seven months on from the nuclear experiment carried out by Kim Jong-il’s regime, Putin signs a decree banning all trade in arms between Russia and North Korea and forbids those involved in creating the bomb from entering Russian territory.

Moscow (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The Russian government has joined the United Nations Security Council by approving a decree yesterday to impose economic sanctions on North Korea, in light of its refusal to shut down its nuclear reactors.


Russian president Vladimir Putin signed the document seven months on from the nuclear test carried out by Pyongyang in a North Korean mine, which proved the existence of the country’s atomic arsenal to the entire world.  Moscow’s delay in applying sanctions had drawn heavy criticism from the Security Council.


According to the text, a full weapons embargo against North Korea will be applied:  all Russian government agencies and enterprises will be banned from exporting to North Korea tanks, fighter jets, warships, heavy artillery pieces, missiles, and missile launchers, as well as materials that can be used for nuclear weapons development. In addition, North Korean officials involved in development programs for weapons of mass destruction including nuclear weapons are banned from entering Russia


From a practical point of view, the measure will likely have no tangible effects, however, given that the current annual trade volume between Russia and North Korea is only about 200 million dollars, mostly dealing in agricultural goods.


Either ways, this decree is a strong sign from the Moscow government, who had delayed in applying sanctions because it claimed it had wanted to “give Kim Jong-il’s regime time”. With this decree the Russian government has confirmed it is on side with the UN further isolating Pyongyang.