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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The Obama administration moved Wednesday to push new sanctions against North Korea over its nuclear weapons program, as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates showed solidarity with South Korea during a visit to the area that separates it from the North.
Clinton announced the new measures — targeting the sale or purchase of arms and related goods used to fund the communist regime's nuclear activities, and the acquisition of luxury items to reward its elite — after she and Gates toured the heavily fortified border in a symbolic trip four months after the sinking of a South Korean warship blamed on the North.
The penalties are intended to further isolate the already hermetic North and persuade its leaders to return to talks aimed at getting it to abandon atomic weapons. The U.S. is also trying to forestall future provocative acts like the torpedoing of the Cheonan, which killed 46 South Korean sailors.
With specifics of the sanctions still being worked out, the more striking demonstration of U.S. resolve came when Clinton and Gates — in a first for America's top two cabinet members — together toured the demilitarized zone in the village of Panmunjom.
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