Washington urges N Korea embargo

THE United States yesterday proposed a mandatory arms embargo plus a two-stage package of diplomatic and economic sanctions against North Korea designed to curb that country's efforts to make a nuclear bomb. The proposal is deliberately modest in the first phase, which avoids economic sanctions in the hope of persuading China not to veto the package in the UN Security Council.

Announcing the package after lengthy inter-agency consultations in Washington, the US envoy to the UN, Madeleine Albright, said the aim was 'to get North Korea to take corrective action on past measures and to warn them about taking action in the future'. Within a week the US hopes the package will become a Security Council resolution.

The Foreign Secretary, Douglas Hurd, last night denounced the North Korean President, Kim Il Sung, as one of a brand of 'unpredictable tyrants with chips on their shoulders' who threatened post-Cold War peace. Speaking at the annual diplomatic banquet in London, he said Britain would join in 'all international efforts to persuade the North Koreans of what they have to do, to bring them to comply with their nuclear obligations.' He said an unwise move by North Korea would meet a resolute response.

The first phase of the US package calls for diplomatic isolation of North Korea and a mandatory arms embargo. UN member states are asked to reduce the presence of North Korean missions, ban scientific and cultural exchanges and end arms purchases, an important source of income for Pyongyang. UN development programmes would be terminated.

The second phase would include freezing North Korean assets and banning the transfer of assets to North Korea by its citizens. This phase would only be introduced if the UN's International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA), monitoring the country's nuclear plants, is expelled and the agency cannot judge if it is diverting plutonium from its nuclear reactors for a bomb project.

Although North Korea announced on Monday it was withdrawing from the IAEA after the agency cut off dollars 250,000 ( pounds 165,000) in technical assistance, the two IAEA inspectors in North Korea for the past month were not expelled. In fact they were allowed to continue monitoring after the withdrawal announcement.

The former US president, Jimmy Carter, arrived in the capital, Pyongyang, yesterday for a four-day visit aimed at easing the crisis. Mr Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, met President Kim Il Sung in the afternoon. KCNA, Pyongyang's official news agency, quoted Mr Carter as saying that he had long yearned to visit North Korea and meet its leader, and was 'very glad to be invited'.

Yesterday, Ms Albright began the tricky task of gathering support for the US sanctions package. South Korea and Japan, the Americans' closest allies in the region, were at the top of her list. Neither country has strong objections, although Japan favoured the two- stage approach with the economic sanctions in phase two. A freeze on Pyongyang's assets and a ban on the transfer home of foreign currency by North Korean citizens would primarily affect North Koreans living in Japan.

Next, Ms Albright will consult the Russians and the Chinese. The US hopes Peking will go along with the first phase of the sanctions, and that North Korea will try to avoid the second by reaching a compromise with the IAEA.

No resolution is expected to be ready for a Security Council vote before next week, and the Clinton administration is determined to accelerate phase two of the sanctions if North Korea evicts the two IAEA inspectors.

News
people
Sport
FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Sport
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
athletics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
music
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Volunteer Trustee opportunities now available at The Society for Experimental Biology

Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Volunteer your expertise as Tr...

Early Years Educator

£68 - £73 per day + Competitive rates of pay based on experience: Randstad Edu...

Nursery Nurse

£69 - £73 per day + Competitive London rates of pay: Randstad Education Group:...

Primary KS1 NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam