S. Korea joins UN sanctions against North despite nuclear test threat

SEOUL (AFP) - South Korea on Thursday confirmed it would implement the latest UN sanctions imposed on North Korea, despite dire warnings from Pyongyang about the consequences.

The sanctions were ordered in response to the North's long-range rocket launch in December and prompted Pyongyang into threatening an imminent nuclear test.

The UN Security Council resolution added six North Korean entities and four individuals to an existing list for an assets freeze and travel ban.

The South's Finance Ministry said it would impose the necessary restrictions on the same parties named in the resolution from next week.

There was never any doubt that Seoul, which had pushed for much harsher sanctions, would implement the UN measures.

But with the Korean peninsula - and much of the world - on edge over the expected nuclear test, the ministry's statement will do nothing to defuse tensions.

Last month, the North specifically threatened "physical counter-measures" if South Korea "directly" participated in the UN sanctions, which Pyongyang condemned as a declaration of war.

Meanwhile, South Korean president-elect Park Geun Hye warned North Korea on Thursday that it faced nothing but deeper isolation if it pushes ahead with a nuclear test.

"There is nothing North Korea can gain with nuclear weapons," said Ms Park, as she held special security talks with the leaders of the country's two main political parties.

"It will rather face a strong response... and will bring further isolation on itself," she said.