The measure, which now must be reconciled with a similar House version that passed last month, would slap sanctions on any person or entity importing goods, technology or training related to weapons of mass destruction, or engaging in human rights abuses, US lawmakers said yesterday.

It also heaps additional financial pressure on the already-sanctioned hermit regime of leader Kim Jong-un, by aiming at cutting down on money laundering and narcotics trafficking, two major illicit activities believed to be funneling millions of dollars into Kim's inner circle.

Senate Republicans Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio both left the Presidential campaign trail and returned to Washington for the vote.
"Unfortunately, administrations of both political parties have failed to roll back the threat North Korea poses and have allowed this rogue regime to develop even more dangerous capabilities," Rubio said in a statement, adding that Pyongyang now has missiles capable of hitting the United States.

"This dictatorial regime must learn that its actions have consequences," added House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Pyongyang shocked the world last month and earned a global rebuke when it announced it had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb.

On Sunday, it defiantly launched a satellite-bearing rocket, a move the West sees as a cover for a ballistic missile test in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

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