U.S. and China introduce new North Korea sanctions

The United States and China unveiled a new round of sanctions this week against North Korea at the United Nations that could significantly impede the development of Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs.

The sanctions would shed light on North Korea's financial transactions and the activities of its diplomats abroad, in addition to preventing leaders of the poverty-stricken nation from obtaining certain luxury items. The sanctions were put forth in response to North Korea's test of an atomic bomb last month, the Wall Street Journal reports.

"The resolution tabled today will take the U.N. sanctions imposed on North Korea to the next level, breaking new ground and imposing significant new legal obligations," U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said, according to the Wall Street Journal. "North Korea will be subject to some of the toughest sanctions imposed by the U.N."

The U.S. and China agreed on the proposed measures after three weeks of intensive negotiations. The resolution also vows that even stronger measures will be imposed if North Korea engages in another missile launch or nuclear test.

Ted Carpenter, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, said it was unlikely that the new sanctions would cause Pyongyang to change course, the Wall Street Journal reports.

"North Korea will go on with its nuclear program just as it has with every other round of sanctions," Carpenter said, according to the Wall Street Journal. "Short of war, there is no practical way to prevent Pyongyang from potentially becoming a nuclear-weapons state, and military strikes on North Korea would risk a general war in East Asia, and that's far too high a price to pay."