World in brief: Security Council targets N. Koreans

FRIDAY, JULY 17, 2009

United Nations – The U.N. Security Council on Thursday banned travel and froze assets of 10 North Korean individuals and businesses linked to the country’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs, marking the first time the United Nations has directly penalized members of the nation’s military and business elite.

The council’s action, backed by China and Russia, comes in response to a series of North Korean missile tests and its second detonation of a nuclear device. The sanctions also marked an escalation in the 15-nation council’s efforts to constrain North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.

Those targeted include Ri Je Son and Hwang Sok Hwa, the directors of North Korea’s General Bureau of Atomic Energy, which oversees the country’s nuclear program.

But experts on North Korea’s nuclear and missile trade said the government has proved adept at evading international sanctions.

Taliban: Airstrikes put soldier at risk

Kabul, Afghanistan – Local Taliban commanders threatened Thursday to kill a captured American soldier unless the U.S. military stops operations in two districts of southeastern Afghanistan.

Also Thursday, Canadian authorities announced that a Canadian soldier was killed southwest of Kandahar, bringing to 47 the number of international troops killed in Afghanistan this month.

The Taliban claimed last week to be holding the American soldier, whom the U.S. military earlier described as possibly being in enemy hands.

Abdullah Jalali, a Taliban spokesman, told the Associated Press the soldier would be killed unless the U.S. stops airstrikes in Ghazni province’s Giro district and Paktika province’s Khoshamand district.

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