rockets, north korea.jpg
Photograph: EPA/RODONG SINMUN SOUTH KOREA OUT NO SALES

North Korea fired several short-range rockets off its the eastern coast Thursday, South Korea said, just hours after the UN imposed its strictest sanctions ever on Pyongyang.

The rockets were fired in the morning from Wonsan on the east coast, and all fell in the sea, a Defence Ministry spokesman said.

The sanctions on Kim Jong Un's regime agreed in New York are aimed at stopping North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, following a nuclear test and a rocket launch by Pyongyang earlier this year.

The resolution bans the sale of a range of luxury items and all weapons, including small arms, to North Korea, as well as the export of certain minerals from the country.

It also imposes travel bans and asset freezes on 16 individuals and 12 entities, and closes loopholes Pyongyang has used in the past.

The text was agreed after it was drawn up by negotiations between the United States and China, traditionally North Korea's only significant international ally.

Beijing said Thursday the new sanctions were the "necessary price" to pay after after Pyongyang's test nuclear explosion on January 6, and a long-range rocket launch on February 7, Xinhua news agency said in a commentary.

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