S. Korea, US launch task force to block N. Korea’s nuclear, missile programs


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South Korea and the United States have launched a task force to effectively block North Korea from financing its unlawful nuclear and missile programs, the foreign ministry said Wednesday.

The inaugural meeting of the South Korea-US bilateral Enhanced Disruption Task Force was held in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday with over 30 officials in areas of diplomacy, intelligence, sanctions and maritime interdiction, according to the ministry.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed ways to counter illicit efforts by North Korea to circumvent sanctions concerning the procurement of refined petroleum, stressing that importing refined oil in excess of the UN-mandated cap violates UN Security Council resolutions.

They also highlighted the need for close cooperation to counter the North’s ability to procure petroleum, including from Russia, saying it directly contributes to the reclusive country’s military readiness and its weapons development.