US Senate panel approves measure to broaden North Korea sanctions

January 28, 2016 22:49

WASHINGTON - A US Senate committee approved legislation on Thursday that would broaden sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear program, human rights record and cyber activities, the latest bid by US lawmakers to clamp down on Pyongyang for its fourth nuclear test.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the measure by unanimous voice vote and members said they expected it would be approved by the full Senate within weeks, and signed into law by President Barack Obama.

US lawmakers have been clamoring for a clampdown on North Korea since Pyongyang's claim early this month that it had tested a hydrogen bomb. The UN Security Council is also discussing more action against the country, although it is not clear what would be supported by China, North Korea's lone major ally and main business partner.

The Senate bill would sanction anyone who engages in, facilitates or contributes to North Korea's proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, arms-related materials, luxury goods, human rights abuses, activities undermining cyber security and the provision of metals or coal for use in such activities.

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