At yesterday’s summit in Singapore between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, a joint statement was signed to reach (inter alia) the “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula”.
In a press conference following the summit, President Trump stated that “[i]n the meantime, the [US] sanctions will remain in effect”, and that they “will come off when we are sure that the nukes are no longer a factor”.
However, China’s Foreign Ministry has stated that the international community ought to consider lifting UN sanctions on North Korea given the “efforts of current diplomatic talks towards denuclearising the Korean peninsula”.
We reported in October 2017 that New Zealand aircraft manufacturer Pacific Aerospace Ltd had pleaded guilty in a New Zealand Court to indirectly exporting aircraft parts to North Korea, in violation of UN sanctions. This week, Judge John Bergseng fined the company NZ $74,805 (approx. US $52,633) for the breach.
On 12 April 2018, the EU adopted, firstly, Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/568, which extended for 1 year its Iran human rights sanctions (previous blog), and, secondly, Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2018/569, which amended the statements of reasons relating to 2 people on its Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) sanctions list (previous blog). In relation to the Iran Decision, the EU has announced that Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Moldova have aligned themselves with that measure. In relation to the DRC Decision, the EU has announced that Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Moldova and Armenia have aligned themselves with that measure.
On 19 April 2018, the EU adopted Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/611, which added 4 people to its North Korea sanctions list (previous blog). The EU has announced that Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Moldova and Armenia have aligned themselves with that measure.
On 22 December 2017, the UN Security Council imposed its latest round of sanctions against North Korea by adopting Resolution 2397 (see previous blog here). Among other things, that Resolution expanded sectoral sanctions by introducing a ban on North Korean exports of food and agricultural products, machinery, electrical equipment, earth and stone, wood and vessels. It also introduced a ban on the supply, sale or transfer to North Korea of all industrial machinery, transportation vehicles, iron, steel and other metals.
The UK has provided for these new measures by passing the North Korea (United Nations Sanctions) (Amendment) Order 2018, SI 2018/523, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (Sanctions) (Overseas Territories) (Amendment) Order 2018, SI 2018/524. Both Orders will come into force on 22 May 2018.
On 26 April 2018, the EU adopted (inter alia) a legal framework to impose targeted measures in relation to its Burma/Myanmar sanctions, see Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/655 and Council Regulation (EU) 2018/647 (previous blog here).
The UK has provided for this legal framework by passing the Burma (European Union Financial Sanctions) Regulations 2018, SI 2018/539. The Regulations will come into force on 21 May 2018.
The Swiss Federal Council has announced that it has “tightened sanctions against [North Korea]” by implementing UN Security Council Resolution 2397 (2017). That Resolution (the latest against North Korea) introduced additional measures on trade in goods, further maritime measures and bans on providing work authorisations for North Korean nationals (previous blog here).
Last week UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, announced three steps that the UK will take to “tackle dirty money” internationally and “tighten the financial screws on rogue regimes and corruption”:
1. Increased UK sanctions team – the size of the UK Treasury sanctions unit (OFSI) will be increased by nearly 20% to 40 people.
2. The UK will provide strong support for G7 agreement on North Korea sanctions – calls for a crackdown on North Korean illicit finance by stopping access to the international financial system via back door of bogus companies and artificial ownership structures.
3. Chancellor calls on IMF to target international corruption by using their Article IV assessment process (“an invaluable tool that speeds of economic reform”). The Chancellor announced that the UK would be one of the first to volunteer for this new level of scrutiny.
The EU has added 4 people (Kim Yong Nam, Djang Tcheul Hy, Kim Su Gwang and Kim Kyong Hui) to its DPRK sanctions list for their involvement in “deceptive financial practices which are suspected of contributing to the DPRK’s nuclear-related, ballistic-missile-related or other weapons of mass destruction-related programmes” (asset freezes imposed). These listings are EU autonomous measures, see: Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/611 and Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/602. EU press release here, and UK OFSI Notice here.
In March 2017, we reported that Chinese telecoms company ZTE (Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment Corporation and ZTE Kangxun Telecommunications Ltd) had agreed to a combined civil and criminal penalty and forfeiture of $1.19bn after shipping telecommunications equipment to Iran and North Korea in violation of US sanctions, making false statements, and obstructing justice including through preventing disclosure to and misleading the US Government. In addition to those monetary penalties, ZTE also agreed a 7-year suspended denial of export privileges, which could be activated if any aspect of the agreement was not complied with.
Yesterday (16 April 2018), the US Department of Commerce announced that it had activated ZTE’s 7-year denial of export privileges order on the basis that the company had made false statements to the Department during settlement negotiations in 2016, and during the probationary period in 2017. Those statements had only been reported to the US Government after the Department had requested certain information from ZTE.