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Obama extends sanctions on NKorea

US President Barack Obama has extended a set of economic sanctions on North Korea for another year as tension soars with the communist state over its nuclear and missile programmes.

world Updated: Jun 25, 2009 07:01 IST

US President Barack Obama has extended a set of economic sanctions on North Korea for another year as tension soars with the communist state over its nuclear and missile programmes.

Obama, using emergency powers, prolonged by one year restrictions on property dealings with North Korea that had been due to expire on Friday.

In a statement, Obama said he acted "because the existence and risk of the proliferation of weapons-usable fissile material on the Korean peninsula continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States."

Former president George W Bush a year ago rescinded the Trading with the Enemy Act for North Korea, which had banned all commerce with Pyongyang on the grounds it was a hostile state. Only Cuba remains on the list.

But Bush, using the same emergency powers as Obama, had at the same time slapped restrictions for one year on property dealings with North Korea, which would have otherwise been lifted.

Bush at the time was racing to clinch a denuclearisation deal with North Korea late in his term. He also took Pyongyang off a list of state sponsors of terrorism, to the dismay of Japan and some US conservatives.