US House passes harsher sanctions against Pyongyang

Washington, Jan 13 (IANS) US House of Representatives on Tuesday easily passed legislation to impose harsher sanctions against North Korea in response to its nuclear test.

The measure, passed by a vote of 418 to 2, would require the president to sanction those engaging in transactions with Pyongyang related to weapons of mass destruction, arms, luxury goods, money laundering, counterfeiting and human rights abuses, The Washington Post reported.

It also gives the president authority to sanction anyone engaging in financial transactions to support the Korean nation banned activities and the country’s developing cyber threat industry.

North Korea announced on Wednesday that it had successfully carried out its first hydrogen bomb test. But the White House disputed the claim, saying that initial analysis indicates that the nuclear test is “not consistent” with a hydrogen bomb.

“The latest test demands a response,” said House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Eliot Engel, a co-sponsor of the House bill, according to The Washington Post.

“We need to act unilaterally to make clear to the North Koreans (DPRK) that their actions have consequences.”

The Senate is expected to consider similar legislation in the coming weeks.

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