After initially describing the launches as being of “short-range missiles”, spokesman Moon Sang-Gyun said the ministry was still analysing their exact nature.
Reflecting Moscow’s concerns over the initial draft agreed by the USA and China last month, the final version of the resolution exceptionally allowed exports of coal produced outside of North Korea via Rajin port in the North.
The news came one day after the United Nations Security Council voted to impose a broad array of sanctions against North Korea because of that nation’s recent nuclear test and missile launch – both of which defied current worldwide sanctions.
Preparatory work on the sanctions began in early 2013, immediately after the Security Council passed a sanctions resolution in response to North Korea’s third nuclear test, according to a State Department official who spoke about the sensitive negotiations on condition of anonymity.
All cargo going to and from North Korea must now be inspected and North Korean trade representatives in Syria, Iran and Vietnam are among 16 individuals added to a United Nations blacklist, along with 12 North Korean entities.
China, and to a lesser extent Russian Federation, “will find loopholes, they always have”, to avoid fully implementing United Nations sanctions, said Roberta Cohen, an expert on North Korea at the Brookings Institution.
In his statement to the Council, Mr. Ri also accused the United States and others of paying “so-called North Korean defectors” for their testimony.
The New York Times reports the sanctions would not affect tens of thousands of North Koreans employed in factories, construction projects and logging camps in China, Russia, the Middle East and Africa.
North Korea regularly fires missiles or rockets to show its displeasure with any perceived slight by its neighbours or the wider worldwide community.
It also clamps down on the pampered lives of leader Kim Jong-un and his ruling elite, extending a luxury goods ban to include watches made of precious metals and leisure sports equipment, including snowmobiles costing more than $2,000.
North Korea withdrew from the talks in 2008. That requires the freezing of assets and, in the case of individuals, a travel ban as well.
Diplomats said the resolution contained the most stringent measures yet to undermine the North’s ability to raise money and secure technology and other resources for its nuclear weapons.
The resolution also bans Pyongyang from chartering vessels or aircraft, and call on countries to “de-register” any vessel owned, operated or crewed by the North.