House seen passing North Korea sanctions bill Friday

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[February 12, 2016]    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives will vote on Friday on legislation broadening sanctions against North Korea that is expected to pass with overwhelming support, sending the measure to the White House for President Barack Obama to sign into law.

The House backed the sanctions measure 418-2 in January, but the Senate included some new provisions, including cybersecurity measures, in the version of the bill that it passed 96-0 on Wednesday, sending it back to the House.

The proposed sanctions come after a satellite launch seen by Washington and its allies as cover for development of ballistic missile technology that could be used to deliver a nuclear weapon.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said the House would consider the amended version of the bill this week, and aides said the vote would likely take place on Friday morning.

"We have moved one step closer to a new round of North Korea sanctions," Ryan told reporters in his weekly news conference.

Obama is not expected to veto the bill, given its huge support in Congress.

Ben Rhodes, his deputy national security adviser, said the White House would review the measure but does not oppose Congress' efforts.

"I think this is an area where we and Congress are in the same space and agree on the need for increased sanctions," Rhodes told an event at the Center for American Progress on Thursday.

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle, David Brunnstrom, Susan Cornwell and Susan Heavey; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and Lisa Shumaker)

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