WASHINGTON, June 18 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday decided to extend for one year the sanctions against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), citing the "unusual and extraordinary threat" posed by the Asian country to U.S. national security, foreign policy and economy.
In a notice sent to Congress, the president noted that he was continuing for one year the national emergency declared against DPRK, as "the existence and risk of proliferation of weapons- usable fissile material on the Korean Peninsula and the actions and policies of the government of North Korea continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy and economy of the United States."
Washington accompanied the national emergency, first declared in June 2008, with sanctions against DPRK, which have been expanded over the years.
The two countries reached an agreement in late February, under which the DPRK agreed to suspend its uranium enrichment, nuclear and long-range missile tests and allow UN inspectors back to the country in return for 240,000 tons of nutritional assistance by Washington.
DPRK's decision to press ahead with a launch of an "earth observation" satellite on April 13 prompted Washington to suspend its planned food aid.
Speculation was rife about a third nuclear test by Pyongyang following the failed satellite launch. However, DPRK said early this month that it has no plans to conduct a third nuclear test " at present".