South Korea, the United States, Australia, and Japan have imposed unilateral sanctions on North Korea in response to its launch of a purported “military reconnaissance satellite.” South Korea has imposed sanctions on 11 North Korean individuals involved in satellite development and ballistic missile research. The US has also announced sanctions on eight foreign-based North Korean agents and a cyber espionage group. Australia and Japan have also imposed sanctions on individuals and entities associated with North Korea’s weapons programs and the satellite launch. The actions reflect the international community’s commitment to contesting North Korea’s illicit and destabilizing activities. However, China and Russia have consistently opposed actions against North Korea’s launches despite clear violations of UNSC resolutions. This year alone, North Korea has conducted 29 ballistic missile launches and three space vehicle launches using ballistic missile technology. The collective action followed the failure of an emergency meeting at the UNSC to address North Korea’s Nov. 21 launch. These sanctions indicate the strengthened commitment of the international community to address North Korea’s recurring provocations.
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