North Korea fired short-range missiles into the sea after the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved tough sanctions on the regime. The measures target Kim Jong Un's commercial trade activities and vast overseas financial operations.
For years, confronting a problem like North Korea has centered around security and denuclearization and human rights abuses. Now after the fourth nuclear test in January and a launched rocket in February, those issues are colliding with urgency as the international community — including China — makes it more difficult for regime leaders to make money and fund weapons and WMDs.
The U.N. resolution approved on Wednesday targets the export of coal, iron and iron ore that finance the North's nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The resolution also prohibits exports of gold, titanium ore and rare earth minerals — all key sources of income for the North's ruling elite.
"The bottom line: The sanction resolution is sweeping in scope," said Stephan Haggard, a North Korea watcher and professor at the University of California, San Diego.