World News Brief, Wednesday September 1

US announces new sanctions against North Korea as Kim Jong-Il talks up six-party talk; Biden in Iraq as combat comes to an end; Japanese "kingpin" to challenge PM; Israelis and Palestinians both promise not to concede too much ahead of peace talks; and more

Top of the Agenda: US Announces New North Korea Sanctions

The White House announced new sanctions against North Korea (WashPost), which target weapons providers, luxury goods producers, and financial services involved in money laundering, counterfeiting, and narcotics trafficking. The sanctions come in response to the March sinking of a South Korean warship, which an international investigation blamed on North Korea. The announcement came days after former president Jimmy Carter visited North Korea to secure the release of an American activist.

The sanctions would make it illegal for US companies to do business with firms found to be helping North Korea with illicit activities. The sanctions may complicate the relaunch of talks on North Korea's nuclear arms program, which the Obama administration said it is still hoping to resume. The US announcement came hours after North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il told Chinese President Hu Jintao during a four-day visit to China that North Korea wanted to rejoin Six Party Talks (KoreaTimes) on denuclearization. South Korea, a member of the talks, has said the talks can only resume after North Korea admits to the March 26 attack (Bloomberg) and apologizes.


On, Weston Konishi, associate director of Asia-Pacific studies at the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, says there have been so many rounds of sanctions against North Korea that there's not much added benefit to additional measures.

In an interview with, Marcus Noland, of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said that Washington's new sanctions against North Korea, focusing on international financial institutions and banking systems, are likely to have more impact than trade sanctions.

This CFR Analysis Brief examines heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula, in part fueled by US-South Korea joint military exercises.


This CFR Crisis Guide examines politics on the Korean Peninsula.


PACIFIC RIM: Ozawa to Stick with Kan Challenge

Japanese politician Ichiro Ozawa told a news conference (Xinhua) he would stick to his plan to challenge Prime Minister Naoto Kan in a leadership election of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan on September 14.



- Biden Visits Iraq before Combat Ops End
- Israelis, Palestinians Jockey Ahead of Talks
- Al-Shabaab Attacks Shake Mogadishu


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