US introduces new sanctions against North Korea

The US has introduced a range of new sanctions against North Korea, following the country’s prohibited nuclear and rocket tests earlier this year.  A new Executive Order signed by President Obama freezes and prohibits all dealings in the assets of the North Korean government and its ruling party that are held in the US or by a US person, prohibits the export of goods, services, and technology to North Korea, prohibits new investment in North Korea, and introduces 9 new sanctions designation criteria.  The criteria relate to:

  • human rights abuses;
  • censorship;
  • cybersecurity threats
  • trade in metals, graphite, coal, or software
  • revenue from overseas workers; and
  • attempts to engage in the above activities.

The new Executive Order also authorises the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to sanction specific industries within the North Korean economy.  Pursuant to this new authority, Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew has stated that persons operating within North Korea’s transportation, mining, energy, or financial services industries may be subject to targeted sanctions.

Following the new Executive Order, OFAC has designated 2 people and 15 entities connected to the government of North Korea, and identified 20 vessels as blocked property.  Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence stated in the Treasury’s press release that the new sanctions are intended to hold North Korea “accountable for its destabilising actions”, and that the US “will work closely with our international partners…to pressure North Korea to abandon its illicit nuclear and ballistic missile programs”.

This entry was posted in North Korea, USA by Michael O'Kane. Bookmark the permalink.

About Michael O'Kane

Michael O’Kane is a partner and Head of the Business Crime team at leading UK firm Peters & Peters. Described as ‘first-rate’ (Legal 500 2012), he “draws glowing praise from commentators” (Chambers 2013) for handling the international aspects of business crime, including sanctions, extradition and mutual legal assistance. Called to the Bar in 1992 and prior to joining Peters & Peters he was a senior specialist prosecutor at the Crown Prosecution Service Headquarters(CPS). At CPS HQ he was a key member of a small specialist unit responsible for the prosecution of serious and high profile fraud, terrorist and special interest criminal matters including the Stansted Airport Afghan hijacking and the prosecution of Paul Burrell (Princess Diana’s butler). Michael joined Peters & Peters in 2002. He became a partner in May 2004, and Head of the Business Crime team in May 2009. Since joining Peters & Peters, Michael has dealt with a wide range of business crime matters. He has particular expertise in international sanctions, criminal cartels, extradition, corruption, mutual legal assistance, and FSA investigations. Described as“ an influential practitioner in fraud and regulatory work, so much so that he is top of the referral lists of many City firms for independent advice for directors” (The Lawyer’s Hot 100 2009), he was recognised as one of the UK’s most innovative lawyers in the 2011 FT Innovative Lawyer Awards and included in the list of the UK's leading lawyers in 'The International Who's Who of Asset Recovery 2012. In 2012 he was the winner of the Global Competition Review Article of the Year. Michael regularly appears on television and radio to discuss his specialist areas and he is the author of the leading textbook on the UK Criminal Cartel Offence “The Law of Criminal Cartels-Practice and Procedure” (Oxford University Press 2009). Recent/Current Sanctions Work • Representing 109 individuals and 12 companies subject to designation by the European Council under targeted measures imposed against Zimbabwe. This is the largest and most complex collective challenge to a sanctions listing ever brought before the European Court. • Acting for a former Egyptian Minister and his UK resident wife, challenging their designation by the European Council of Ministers under targeted measures brought against former members of the Egyptian Government. • Advising a company accused in a UN investigation report to have breached UN sanctions imposed in relation to Somalia. • Advising a UK company in relation to ongoing commercial relationships with an Iranian company listed under both EU and UN sanctions. • Advising an individual in relation to a UK investigation for alleging breaching nuclear export controls.

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