Obama signs legislation slapping new sanctions on North Korea

Obama signs legislation slapping new sanctions on North Korea
© Getty Images

President Obama signed legislation Thursday tightening sanctions on North Korea in response to a string of nuclear weapons and missile tests that sparked worldwide concern.

The House and Senate last week overwhelmingly passed the bill, which requires the administration to sanction anyone involved with Pyongyang’s nuclear program, money laundering and human rights abuses.

Lawmakers felt compelled to retaliate against North Korea, expressing concern that international bodies, such as the United Nations, were not responding quickly enough to its aggressive moves. 

The isolated, communist nation launched a long-range rocket earlier this month, which Western governments called an illegal test of an intercontinental ballistic missile. In January, it conducted its fourth nuclear weapons test. But Washington cast doubt on Pyongyang’s claim it tested a powerful hydrogen bomb. 

The U.S. and its allies are pressuring China to agree to new U.N. sanctions against North Korea.