Sanctions against North Korea

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Sanctions against North Korea, officially known as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, have been imposed by a number of countries and international bodies. The current sanctions are largely concerned with North Korea's nuclear weapons program and were imposed after its first nuclear test in 2006.

United Nations Security Council sanctions

A North Korea cargo ship at the dock in Nampo

The UN Security Council has passed a number of resolutions since North Korea's first nuclear test in 2006.[1]

Resolution 1718 in 2006 demanded that North Korea cease nuclear testing and prohibited the export to North Korea of some military supplies and luxury goods.[2][3] The UN Security Council Sanctions Committee on North Korea was established, supported by the Panel of Experts.[4][5][6]

Resolution 1874, passed after the second nuclear test in 2009, broadened the arms embargo. Member states were encouraged to inspect ships and destroy any cargo suspected being related to the nuclear weapons program.[3][1]

Resolution 2087, passed in January 2013 after a satellite launch, strengthened previous sanctions by clarifying a state’s right to seize and destroy cargo suspected of heading to or from North Korea for purposes of military research and development.[3][1]

Resolution 2094 was passed in March 2013 after the third nuclear test. It imposed sanctions on money transfers and aimed to shut North Korea out of the international financial system.[3][1]

Resolution 2270, passed in March 2016 after the fourth nuclear test, further strengthened sanctions.[7] It banned the export of gold, vanadium, titanium, and rare earth metals. The export of coal and iron were also banned, with an exemption for transactions that were purely for "livelihood purposes".[8][1]

Resolution 2321, passed in November 2016, capped North Korea's coal exports and banned exports of copper, nickel, zinc, and silver.[9][10] In February 2017, a UN panel said that 116 of 193 member states had not yet submitted a report on their implementation of these sanctions, though China had.[11] Also in February 2017, China announced it would ban all imports of coal for the rest of the year.[12]

Resolution 2371, passed in August 2017, banned all exports of coal, iron, lead, and seafood. The resolution also imposed new restrictions on North Korea’s Foreign Trade Bank and prohibited any increase in the number of North Koreans working in foreign countries.[13]

Resolution 2375, passed on September 11 2017, limited North Korean crude oil and refined petroleum product imports, banned joint ventures, textile exports, natural gas condensate and liquid imports, and banned North Korean nationals from working abroad in other countries.[14]

United States sanctions

In February 2016, President Barack Obama enacted the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016 (H.R. 757Pub.L. 114–122), which passed the House of Representatives and the Senate with nearly unanimous support.[3] This law:

  • requires the President to sanction entities found to have contributed to North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction program, arms trade, human rights abuses or other illegal activities.[3]
  • imposes mandatory sanctions for entities involved in North Korea's mineral or metal trades, which comprise a large part of North Korea's foreign exports.[3]
  • requires the US Treasury Department to determine whether North Korea should be listed as a "primary money laundering concern," which would trigger tough new financial restrictions.[3]
  • imposes new sanctions authorities related to North Korean human rights abuses and abuses of cybersecurity.[3]

This followed the North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act of 2013 which the Senate failed to pass.

In July 2017, after the death of tourist Otto Warmbier, the US government banned Americans from visiting North Korea from September 1.[15]

In August 2017, the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act was enacted.

On 21 September 2017 President Donald Trump issued an executive order allowing USA to cut from its financial system and/or freeze assets of any companies, businesses, organisations and individuals trading in goods, services or technology with North Korea. Also any aircraft or ship upon entering North Korea is banned for 180 days from entering the USA. Same restriction apply to ships which conducted ship to ship transfers with North Korean ships. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stated that "Foreign financial institutions are now on notice that going forward they can choose to do business with the United States or North Korea, but not both." Statement from the White House said “Foreign financial institutions must choose between doing business with the United States or facilitating trade with North Korea or its designated supporters.”[16][17]

On 25 September 2017 President Donald Trump issued an executive order banning entry of North Korean nationals to the USA.[18]

Following the abduction of a South Korean fishing vessel, additional sanctions were ordered by Donald Trump on 26 October 2017 following a culmination of 'flagrant' rights abuses including executions, torture, and forced labor. Seven individuals and three North Korean entities were affected by the sanctions.[19]

South Korean sanctions

South Korea imposed sanctions against North Korea following the 2010 sinking of the South Korean naval ship, the Cheonan. These sanctions, known as the May 24 measures, included:[3]

  • banning North Korean ships from South Korean territorial waters.[3]
  • suspending inter-Korean trade except at the Kaesong Industrial Zone.[3]
  • banning most cultural exchanges.[3]

In 2016 President Park Geun-hye ordered the Kaesong complex shut in retaliation for the nuclear test in January and the rocket launch in February.[3]

Japanese sanctions

In 2016, Japan's sanctions against North Korea included:[3]

  • banning remittances, except those made for humanitarian purposes and less than 100,000 yen in value.[3]
  • freezing assets of suspect individuals and organisations in Japan.
  • prohibiting North Korean citizens from entering Japan.[3]
  • renewing the ban on North Korean ships entering Japanese ports and extending it to include other ships that have visited North Korea.[3]
  • banning nuclear and missile technicians who have been to North Korea from entering Japan.[20]

European Union

The European Union has imposed a series of sanctions against North Korea since 2006. These include:[3]

  • an embargo on arms and related material.[3]
  • banning the export of aviation and rocket fuel to North Korea.
  • banning the trade in gold, precious metals and diamonds with the North Korean government.[3]
  • banning the import of minerals from North Korea, with some exemptions for coal and iron ore.
  • banning exports of luxury goods.[3]
  • restrictions on financial support for trade with North Korea.[3]
  • restrictions on investment and financial activities.[3]
  • inspections and monitoring of cargoes imported to and exported from North Korea.[3]
  • prohibiting certain North Korean individuals from entering the EU.[21]

On 21 September 2017 EU banned oil exports and investments in North Korea.[17]

Australia

Australia has imposed a series of sanctions against North Korea from August 2017.[22]

Assessment

A report by the United Nations Panel of Experts stated that North Korea was covertly trading in arms and minerals in defiance of the sanctions.[23]

The academic John Delury has described the sanctions as futile and counterproductive. He has argued that they are unenforceable and unlikely to stop North Korea's nuclear weapons program.[24]

On the other hand, Sung-Yoon Lee, Professor in Korean Studies at the Fletcher School, and Joshua Stanton, advocate continued tightening of sanctions, targeting Pyongyang's systemic vulnerabilities, including blocking the regime's "offshore hard currency reserves and income with financial sanctions, including secondary sanctions against its foreign enablers. This would significantly diminish, if not altogether deny, Kim the means to pay his military, security forces and elites that repress the North Korean public".[25][26]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Davenport, Kelsey (March 1, 2016). "UN Security Council Resolutions on North Korea". Washington, D.C., USA: Arms Control Association. Archived from the original on April 15, 2017. Retrieved April 23, 2017. 
  2. ^ "Security Council condemns nuclear test by Democratic People's Republic of Korea". United Nations. October 14, 2006. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y Fifield, Anna (22 February 2016). "Punishing North Korea: A Rundown on Current Sanctions". Washington Post. Archived from the original on Jan 11, 2017. Retrieved March 26, 2017. 
  4. ^ "UN Security Council Committee Established Pursuant to Resolution 1718 (2006) - Work and mandate". New York, USA: United Nations Security Council. Archived from the original on April 8, 2017. Retrieved April 8, 2017. 
  5. ^ Salomon, Salem (March 22, 2017). "Sanctioned and Shunned, North Korea Finds Arms Deals in Africa". Voice of America. USA. Archived from the original on Mar 22, 2017. Retrieved April 2, 2017. 
  6. ^ Berger, Andrea (March 16, 2017). "A Familiar Story: The New UN Report on North Korean Sanctions Implementation". 38 North, U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. USA. Archived from the original on Mar 16, 2017. Retrieved April 8, 2017. 
  7. ^ UN Security Council (7 March 2013). "Security Council Strengthens Sanctions on Democratic People's Republic of Korea, in Response to 12 February Nuclear Test". 
  8. ^ UN Security Council (2 March 2016). "Resolution 2270 (2016)". 
  9. ^ Morello, Carol (30 November 2016). "UN caps N. Korean coal sales in bid to deprive it of hard currency after nuclear tests". Washington Post. 
  10. ^ UN Security Council. "Security Council Strengthens Sanctions on Democratic Republic of Korea, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2321 (2016) - With Secretary-General Hailing Measures as 'Toughest Ever', Some Warn against Military Build-up on Peninsula". United Nations. Archived from the original on Dec 12, 2016. Retrieved January 17, 2017. 
  11. ^ Kesling, Ben; Gale, Alistair (25 April 2017). "Trump's North Korea Obstacle: Sanctions Are Unevenly Enforced". Wall Street Journal. 
  12. ^ Denyer, Simon (18 February 2017). "China suspends North Korean coal imports, striking at regime's financial lifeline". Washington Post. 
  13. ^ Gladstone, Rick (August 5, 2017). "U.N. Security Council imposes punishing new sanctions on North Korea". The New York Times. USA. Retrieved August 8, 2017. 
  14. ^ "Security Council Imposes Fresh Sanctions on Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Including Bans on Natural Gas Sales, Work Authorization for Its Nationals - Meetings Coverage and Press Releases". www.un.org. 
  15. ^ Torbati, Yeganeh; Lee, Se Young (July 21, 2017). "U.S. State Department to clamp ban on travel to North Korea". Reuters. Retrieved July 21, 2017. 
  16. ^ Borak, Donna. "North Korea sanctions: Here's what Trump did". 
  17. ^ a b Borger, Julian (21 September 2017). "Trump issues new sanctions on North Korea and claims China is following" – via www.theguardian.com. 
  18. ^ "US expands travel ban to include N Korea". 25 September 2017 – via www.bbc.com. 
  19. ^ "U.S. sanctions North Koreans for 'flagrant' rights abuse". Reuters. 26 October 2017. Retrieved 2017-10-26. 
  20. ^ Pollmann, Mina (12 February 2016). "Japan Unveils Unilateral Sanctions on North Korea". The Diplomat. 
  21. ^ European Union External Action (2016). "Fact Sheet:EU-Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) relations" (PDF). 
  22. ^ "Australia expands sanctions on North Korea". Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 
  23. ^ Byrne, Leo (8 February 2017). "PoE says North Korea "flouting sanctions": report". NK News. 
  24. ^ Delury, John (2 December 2016). "North Korea sanctions: Futile, counterproductive and dangerous". CNN. 
  25. ^ Lee, Sung-Yoon; Stanton, Joshua (January 15, 2016). "How to get serious with North Korea". CNN. USA. Archived from the original on January 18, 2017. Retrieved January 18, 2017. 
  26. ^ Stanton, Joshua; Lee, Sung-Yoon (Jan 4, 2016). "Beef Up Sanctions on North Korea". The Wall Street Journal. USA. Archived from the original on January 18, 2017. Retrieved January 18, 2017. 

Further reading

  • Chang, Semoon (2007). Economic Sanctions Against a Nuclear North Korea: An Analysis of United States and United Nations Actions Since 1950. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-5139-5. 

External links

  • List of international sanctions against North Korea, published by Sanctionswiki.org
  • United Nations Documents for DPRK (North Korea)
  • UN Security Council Committee Established Pursuant to Resolution 1718 (2006) (Reports issued by the UN Panel of Experts, established to support of the Sanctions Committee in carrying out its mandate as specified in paragraph 12 of resolution 1718)
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