Sanctions on North Korea Have Slowed, Not Halted, Its Nuclear Ambitions

According to leaked United Nations report


Tough financial sanctions and an arms embargo have significantly delayed expansion of North Korea's nuclear arms programme, according to a confidential UN report seen by the Reuters news agency.

The latest annual report by the UN sanctions-monitoring group comes as the US seeks to persuade China that applying economic and other sanctions against its neighbour is crucial to halting the programme.

"While the imposition of sanctions has not halted the development of nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, it has in all likelihood considerably delayed [North Korea's] timetable and, through the imposition of financial sanctions and the bans on the trade in weapons, has choked off significant funding which would have been channelled into its prohibited activities," the report said.

Diplomats said the 52-page document covers the period up through to last month, so it was too early to measure the effect of the latest round of UN sanctions adopted in March.