UNITED NATIONS – The United States and China are discussing next steps in response to North Korea's missile tests and could reach a decision on new sanctions this week, Washington's U.N. envoy, Nikki Haley, said Tuesday. China is pushing Pyongyang through back channels to change its behavior and discussing with the United States the timing of a possible new sanctions resolution, Haley told reporters. "It's about at what point do we do the resolution … at what test model do we say now is the time to go forward," she said. "We do think they are trying to counter what is happening now and they have the lay of the land," Haley said of the Chinese government. "We are going to keep the pressure on China but we will continue to work with them … and I think we will decide this week on what that looks like."
Japan decided Tuesday to extend its unilateral sanctions on North Korea, including a ban on all trade, by two years to maintain pressure on the country to give up its nuclear and missile programs, and to make progress on the issue of its past abductions of Japanese nationals. The sanctions extension, approved by the Cabinet of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga before the measures' expiration on April 13, bans trade and prohibits the docking in Japan of North Korean-registered ships and any vessels that have called at a North Korean port. North Korea test-fired two ballistic missiles on March 25, the first such provocation in a year, in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. Japan, the United States and South Korea have vowed to cooperate toward full implementation of the U.N. sanctions and to make "concerted" efforts toward the North's denuclearization. Japan has long sought to repatriate its citizens kidnapped by North Korean agents in the 1970s and 1980s, one of the sticking points that have stood in the way of the countries moving toward a normalization of diplomatic ties.
UNITED NATIONS – The Security Council has banned all nations from allowing four ships that transported prohibited goods to and from North Korea to enter any port in their country. Hugh Griffiths, head of the panel of experts investigating the implementation of U.N. sanctions against North Korea, announced the port bans at a briefing to U.N. member states on Monday. Griffiths later told several reporters that "this is the first time in U.N. history" that the Security Council committee monitoring sanctions against Pyongyang has prohibited ships from entering all ports. He identified the four cargo ships as the Petrel 8, Hao Fan 6, Tong San 2 and Jie Shun. Griffiths also said the panel has received reports that North Korea "is continuing its attempts to export coal" in violation of U.N. sanctions.