A rocket previously launched from North Korea in February.
A rocket previously launched from North Korea in February. The Independent

North Korea fires rockets into sea despite UN sanctions

NORTH Korea fired several rockets into the sea yesterday after the United Nations Security Council imposed tough new sanctions on the closed country.

The Security Council unanimously backed a debilitating range of punishments in response to Pyong-yang's recent nuclear test and missile launch in defiance of existing sanctions.

The new sanctions, supported by China after seven weeks of negotiations with the US, are intended to cut the flow of funds and materials for North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

Under the new regime all planes and ships carrying North Korean imports and exports must be inspected by UN member countries.

Other measures include a ban on the supply of aviation fuel, rocket fuel and small arms to North Korea, and an extension of the UN's existing asset freeze on all funds held abroad by the government.

US officials described the sanctions as the toughest ever imposed by the Security Council.

The US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, told the Security Council: "With each nuclear test and launch ... the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) improves its capability to carry out a ballistic missile attack, not only in the region but a continent away.

"That means having the ability to strike most of the countries sitting on this council. Think about that."