White House: U.S., Vietnam to implement North Korea sanctions

White-House-US-Vietnam-to-implement-North-Korea-sanctions.   WASHINGTON, Security cooperation is key between the United States and Vietnam, and the two are coordinating on implementing North Korea sanctions, according to the White House.

U.S.President Barack Obama waves to the press as he departs the White House for his week-long trip to Japan and Vietnam, May 21, 2016. The United States reaffirmed a commitment to assisting Vietnam enhance its maritime security capabilities on Monday, and the two countries agreed to coordinate on North Korea sanctions. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo

In a fact sheet released Monday, the White House stated the United States and Vietnam are “working together to prevent North Korea’s proliferation activities and to fully implement [United Nations Security Council Resolution] 2270.”

The sanctions resolution that passed in early March includes the strictest bans on weapons of mass destruction that could be exported from North Korea.

Vietnam has been implementing the sanctions.

In late April, Vietnam expelled a North Korean diplomat blacklisted under U.S. and U.N. Security Council sanctions.

Choe Sung Il, who was reportedly in charge of North Korean arms sales in Southeast Asia, was deported April 23. He was added to a blacklist of North Korean individuals maintained by the U.S. Treasury Department last December, and subsequently added to the U.N. sanctions list in March, which allows U.N. member countries to expel him or bar him from entry.

Ahead of the summit between President Obama and Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang, Washington and Seoul had pushed on with diplomatic efforts in Southeast Asia, in order to encourage cooperation with the sanctions, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.

The White House also said in the statement that Washington has provided more than $45.7 million since fiscal year 2014 for Vietnam to build its maritime security capabilities.

The United States is also looking into supplying 18 MetalShark 450-foot patrol boats, training and maritime law enforcement equipment to Vietnam’s Coast Guard.

Both the United States and Vietnam have criticized China’s island-building activities in the South China Sea on reefs claimed by multiple countries.

By Elizabeth Shim