United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice says the United States is "very pleased" with new sanctions imposed on North Korea in response to its recent nuclear and missile tests, and she says that Washington won't be intimidated by North Korea's threat to consider them an act of war. Briefing reporters at the daily White House briefing, Rice said the sanctions amount to an international demand that North Korea halt its nuclear activities and return to the "Six Party" talks. Rice said the unanimously passed United Nations Security Council resolution toughens sanctions in several areas: It imposes a complete embargo on North Korean arms exports, which are a major source of the country's revenue and it broadens restrictions on weapons North Korea is allowed to import. The resolution imposes new financial restrictions on North Korean individuals and institutions and calls on other countries to stop new loans and credits except for humanitarian aid. Rice said additional companies and individuals may be added to the list in 30 days. She said the resolution also establishes a new regime for voluntary inspection of ships suspected of carrying contraband to North Korea, requiring flag states to followup evidence of contraband with inspections, and requiring all countries to deny fuel to ships that refuse to submit.
Rice said the U.S. would not be surprised if North Korea reacted to the sanctions with "further provocation, in fact she said there's reason to believe "they may respond in an irresponsible fashion." But Rice said "the message to North Korea is that it doesn't benefit from taking further steps to destabilize the...region indeed it pays a price for that action."
Rice said Iran should take note that the response to North Korea's violation of U.N. sanctions has been "very clear, very firm and very meaningful and united." Rice called that an "important signal" as Iran continues both missile development and uranium enrichment that U.S. officials believe would be destabilizing to the Middle East.