Third countries align with EU N Korea sanctions

EU2.jpgThe EU has announced that Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Armenia have aligned themselves with Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/89. That decision, adopted on 22 January 2018, added 17 people to the EU North Korea sanctions list for their involvement in “illegal trade activities” and activities aimed at “facilitating the evasion of [UN] sanctions” (see previous blog here).

Taiwanese prosecutors accuse 4 of violating UN sanctions on N Korea

Taipei.jpgThe Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office, Taiwan, has accused (not formally charged) a former High Court judge, Chiang Kuo-hua, and his son, Chiang Heng, as well as 2 others for violating UN sanctions against North Korea. Specifically, for having chartered a vessel (using a Chinese intermediary) in order to transport North Korean coal to Vietnam in 2017. Despite being a non-member of the UN, Taiwan has committed to the adherence of all UNSC Resolutions, and announced in September 2017 that it had banned all trade with North Korea (see previous blog here).

Further OFAC designations to N Korea sanctions list

OFAC2.jpgOFAC has designated 16 people, 9 entities and 6 North Korean vessels in response to “North Korea’s ongoing development of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and continued violations of United Nations Security Council Resolutions” (asset freezes imposed).

Of the 16-designated people, 1 is alleged to be an official of the Workers’ Party of Korea, 10 are alleged to be representatives of the Korea Ryonbong General Corporation, which was previously designated by the UN and the US (note: 8 of the 10 Ryonbong representatives are stated as being located in Chinese offices near the China-North Korean border), and the remaining 5 people are alleged to be linked to North Korean financial networks (said to be North Korean financial representatives located in China or Russia).

Of the 9 entities designated, 5 are North Korean shipping companies (note: the 6-designated vessels were sanctioned as being property in which those companies have an interest) and 2 are Chinese companies, which were listed for having allegedly exported over $68m worth of goods to North Korea and for having imported more than $19m worth of goods from North Korea (cumulative figures). The 2 remaining entities are ‘Ministry of Crude Oil Industry’, which “handles crude oil for North Korea”, and a North Korean electronics company operating in the manufacturing industry. Links to OFAC Notice and US Treasury press release.

EU adds 17 people to DPRK sanctions list

EU5.jpgThe EU has added 17 people to its DPRK sanctions list, including a number of N Korean Embassy diplomats. The designations are said to be due to their involvement in “illegal trade activities” and activities aimed at “facilitating the evasion of [UN] sanctions”. See Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/89, Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/87, EU press release and UK OFSI Notice.

20 countries consider tougher sanctions on N Korea

Vancouver.jpgYesterday, the US and Canada co-hosted the Vancouver Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Security and Stability on the Korean Peninsula. Twenty nations (including the co-hosting nations, the UK, France, Japan, India and South Korea – full list here) pledged to the “full and effective implementation of existing [UN] sanctions on North Korea”. Furthermore, they collectively agreed “to consider and take steps to impose unilateral sanctions and further diplomatic actions that go beyond those required by UN Security Council resolutions”. Summary of meeting here. Remarks from the Foreign Ministers of the US, UK, Canada, Japan and South Korea here.

Despite being permanent members of the UN Security Council, China and Russia did not participate in the meeting.

EU adds 4 ships to N Korea sanctions list

Ship2In line with the UN Security Council (previous blog here), the EU has added 4 vessels to its North Korea sanctions list, see: Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2018/58 and Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/53. The vessels are as follows: Billions No. 18; Ul Ji Bong 6; Rung Ra 2; and Rye Song Gang 1. UK OFSI Notice here.

S Korea considering temporary lifting of N Korea sanctions for Olympic Games

PyeongChang2018.jpgFollowing high-level talks between the two Korean states, South Korea has announced that it is considering a temporary lifting of sanctions against North Korea in order to facilitate North Korean participation in next month’s PyeongChang 2018 Winter and Paralympic Games. A Foreign Ministry spokesman for South Korea has stated that if “prior steps” are needed to assist with North Korea’s participation, then it will consider it with the UN Security Council and other relevant countries. South Korea has issued a press release stating that the US has given its full support to President Moon Jae-in during the high-level talks.

EU aligning itself with latest UNSC Resolution against N Korea

EU2In line with recent UN Security Council Resolution 2397 (2017), the EU has added 16 individuals and 1 entity, ‘Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces (MPAF)’, to its North Korea sanctions list (asset freezes and travel restrictions imposed). See Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2018/16, Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/12 and EU Notice.

The EU has stated that it will work on the swift transposition of the other sanctions included in the UNSC Resolution and that it is likely to adopt “additional autonomous measures in the coming weeks”. EU press release here.