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U.S. Interagency Team to Focus On Sanctions Against N. Korea

By Michael D. Shear
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, June 27, 2009

The White House is forming an interagency team to coordinate sanctions efforts against North Korea with other nations, senior administration officials said yesterday.

The team will be led by Philip S. Goldberg, a former ambassador to Bolivia who is slated to leave for China in the near future as the United States seeks concerted action to punish North Korea for recently conducting a second nuclear test.

"There is a broad consensus about the need to have a focused and engaged effort to see that these sanctions are implemented . . . and that we're sharing information with each other," one official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

The officials said they are hoping the group -- with representatives from the State Department, the White House, the National Security Agency, the Treasury Department and others -- will help "shine a spotlight" on Pyongyang's actions.

"We wanted somebody who woke up every morning and thought about nothing but sanctions implementation," one official said. "It's a huge difference when you have somebody who isn't worried about any of the other aspects of this."

Stephen W. Bosworth, the administration's special envoy for North Korea, works on a part-time basis.

Administration officials say they will not stop pursuing sanctions unless North Korea takes "irreversible steps" to dismantle its program to show it is serious about talks.

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