April 15, 2009 / 10:10 PM / 9 years ago

U.S. and Japan name N.Korea firms they want blacklisted

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United States and Japan on Wednesday delivered to a U.N. sanctions committee lists of North Korean companies they want placed on a U.N. blacklist for aiding Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs.

North Koreans visit to offer flowers at the bronze statue of the country's founder and 'Great Leader' Kim Il-sung in the North Korean capital of Pypongyang April 15, 2009, to mark Kim's birthday, in this picture released by the North's official news agency KCNA. REUTERS/KCNA

“We have received communications from two countries, the United States and Japan,” Turkish U.N. Ambassador Baki Ilkin, chairman of the U.N. Sanctions Committee on North Korea, told reporters after the committee met behind closed doors.

It was the first meeting in two years of the committee, which so far has not designated any company to be blacklisted. As a result, financial sanctions and an arms embargo imposed on Pyongyang after it carried out an October 2006 nuclear test have not been enforced.

Ilkin gave no details of the lists provided by Washington and Tokyo. But one U.N. diplomat told Reuters the U.S. list had 11 companies linked to the North Korean military on it.

Another diplomat said the types of goods that North Korea would be banned from importing and exporting would be those found on sensitive technology lists drawn up by the Missile Technology Control Regime and Nuclear Suppliers Group, informal clubs of countries interested in halting proliferation.

It was not immediately clear if any other countries would be providing the sanctions committee with lists.

The Turkish ambassador convened the meeting after the U.N. Security Council on Monday unanimously passed a statement ordering the sanctions committee to prepare a list of North Korean “entities and goods” to be sanctioned by April 24.

The council statement was adopted in response to North Korea’s April 5 rocket launch. It condemned the launch as contravening a U.N. ban on ballistic missile launches and called for full enforcement of sanctions against Pyongyang.

Some analysts say the passage of the council statement will be largely symbolic and is unlikely to result in strict enforcement of sanctions. They say much will depend on China’s willingness to enforce the measures.

Pyongyang, however, appears to have taken the statement seriously. It has retaliated by ordering international nuclear inspectors out of the country and announcing it would boycott six-nation talks on a disarmament-for-aid deal.

Editing by Xavier Briand

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