UN sanctions North Korea: here we go again down the same old rat-hole

The United Nations Security Council vote on a resolution to expand its North Korea blacklist after the Asian state’s repeated missile tests, at the U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., June 2, 2017. REUTERS/MIKE SEGAR

As I predicted, the hermit state we call North Korea has again been sanctioned by the UN Security Council. Yet again, we go down the same rat-hole we now seem to call North Korean sanctions. 

On 02 June 2017, the UN Security Council unanimously sanctioned North Korea again for conducting ballistic missile tests in violation of UN resolutions. The latest sanctions are codified in Resolution 2356 (2017).  The resolution was sponsored by both the U.S. and China, although the strongest measures requested by the U.S. were not adopted – e.g. an oil embargo, a ban on maritime shipping, and further trade restrictions on North Korean workers not working in North Korea.

The watered-down measures blacklisted North Korea’s suspected spy master, 13 other officials and four companies. In this context, the UN slapped them with a global travel ban and an assets freeze. 

The 18 names will be added to the current blacklist of 39 individuals and 42 North Korean entities subject under UN sanctions.

The U.S. ambassador Nikki Haley warned the hermit state, “Stop firing ballistic missiles or face the consequences.”  

Further, the American diplomat stated “Pyongyang must first take concrete steps towards ending its nuclear weapons programme,” while stressing:  “Our goal is not regime change. Nevertheless, all options remained on the table and the United States would defend itself “by other means if necessary”. Finally, the U.S. warned  that “[b]eyond diplomatic and financial consequences, the United States remains prepared to counteract North Korean aggression through other means, if necessary.” 

United Nations sanctions were prompted Pyongyang’s continuing missile tests. Photograph: Reuters Staff/Reuters

The other blacklisted parties include:

  • 13 senior officials from North Korea’s Workers’ Party and heads of trading firms tasked with securing purchases for Pyongyang’s military programs;
  • the strategic rocket force of the North Korean army,
  • two trading firms and
  • the Koryo Bank – linked to a party office that manages Kim’s finances.
 

 

 

Note that on 01 June 2017, the U.S. also blacklisted North Korean persons and companies for the latest missile tests. 

Interesting enough, OFAC also blacklisted the Russian based company Ardis-Bearings LLC and its director, Igor Aleksandrovich Michurin – for their contribution to North Korea’s WMD program.

On 09 June 2017, the EU implemented the latest UN sanctions through Commission Regulation 2017/970 amending Council Regulation 329/2007 and Council Decision 2017/975 implementing Council Decision 2016/849.

Although the sanctions aim to restrict North Korea’s ability to finance it’s controversial nuclear program, they remain a feeble attempt to halt a regime hell-bent on becoming a nuclear power. 

Once again, we continue to burrow through this never ending rat-hole….  

 

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