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Obama signs North Korea sanctions, readies for SC names

President Barack Obama signed into law legislation broadening sanctions to punish North Korea for its nuclear program, human rights record and cyber crimes, the White House said

Obama signs North Korea sanctions, readies for SC names
Vice President Joe Biden watches as President Obama holds a meeting with national security officials


The Bill is aimed at punishing the isolated North Korean regime for its nuclear and missile programmes. Last week, the Congress had overwhelmingly voted for imposing sanctions. 

Anyone doing business with North Korea on its nuclear or weapons programmes would end up having their assets seized. 

North Korea had recently test-fired a long range rocket and Obama had condemned the act, saying, “This is an authoritarian regime. It’s provocative. It has repeatedly violated UN resolutions, tested and produced nuclear weapons, and now they are trying to perfect their missile launch system.” 

North Korea’s missile programmes tested the patience of North Korea’s only friend in the region, China.

Political battle over Supreme Court nominee: 

Obama is also facing pressure at home, on the issue of Supreme Court nominee to replace the late Antonin Scalia. On Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden said Obama cannot select the most liberal possible candidate and should seek a “consensus” pick who could attract Republican support. 

A fierce political fight is brewing as the Democratic president prepares to name a successor to conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, who died on Saturday. Obama’s nominee could change the court’s balance of power.

Nominee in three weeks: 

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid told MSNBC in an interview that he spoke with Obama on Thursday about the nomination and expected the president to name his choice in “a little over three weeks.” 

Meanwhile, Biden said “The Senate gets to have a say”.  “In order to get this done, the President is not going to be able to go out, nor would it be his instinct anyway, to pick the most liberal jurist in the nation and put them on the court.” In a separate interview broadcast on MSNBC, Biden said he would be deeply involved in advising Obama but that he had no desire himself to be named to the high court. 

Biden told MSNBC the president had sought his advice but they had yet to discuss potential candidates. Obama also found support in retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to serve on the court. 

A nominee of Republican President Ronald Reagan, she took issue with Republicans who are demanding that Obama’s successor pick the person to fill Scalia’s vacancy. “I don’t agree,” O’Connor, 85, told an Arizona television station. “We need somebody in there to do the job - and just get on with it.”

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