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U.S. To Impose New Sanctions Against North Korea

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has announced that the United States will impose new sanctions against North Korea.

Clinton outlined the measures following high-level talks in South Korea today.

Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates are in South Korea on a visit aimed at demonstrating support for U.S. ally South Korea following the sinking of a South Korean warship blamed on the North.

An international investigation found a torpedo fired by North Korea sank the warship killing 46 South Korean sailors -- but this has been denied by the Comnunist-ruled North.

Clinton said the new sanctions are meant to halt illicit activities that help fund North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

She said they include measures specifically designed to target assets of North Korea's leadership.

Clinton and Gates today held joint talks with the South Korean foreign and defense ministers, and in a statement after the talks warned Pyongyang of "serious consequences" for aggression.

Earlier in the day, Clinton and Gates made a rare visit to the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone that divides the two Koreas.

Their visit to South Korea comes ahead of the July 25 start of a major U.S.-South Korean joint naval exercise aimed at deterring North Korea.

compiled from agency reports