S Korea imposes further sanctions against N Korea

S Korea2.jpgSouth Korea has sanctioned 20 North Korean entities and 12 individuals in response to North Korea’s recent ballistic missile launch on 29 November (list yet to be published). The sanctions, which came into effect today, involve asset freezes and prohibitions on South Korean entities and individuals from transacting with those on the list. It is reported that Rason International Commercial Bank, Korea Industrial Group and Daebong Shipping Company are amongst the sanctioned entities.

These measures come a month after South Korea imposed unilateral sanctions against 18 North Korean individuals for alleged financial links with the state’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes (see previous blog here).

Trump pledges ‘additional major’ sanctions on N Korea

Trump2.jpgIn light of North Korea’s recent ballistic missile test, President Donald Trump has pledged “additional major” sanctions against the state.

Yesterday, the UN Security Council held an emergency meeting in which France, in particular, advocated for the acceleration and expansion of existing sanctions against North Korea.

N Korea officially added to US list of State Sponsors of Terrorism

North Korea Flag and Missiles.jpgThe US has officially added North Korea to its list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. The designation (dated 20 November 2017) carries, among other things, a ban on defence exports and sales, certain controls over exports of dual use items, and restrictions on US foreign assistance.

We previously reported here that the US would be adding North Korea to the list.

OFAC expands N Korea SDN list with 34 designations (5 Chinese)

OFAC3.jpgOFAC has added 1 person (Chinese), 13 entities (4 Chinese and 9 North Korean), and 20 vessels (all North Korean) to its SDN list in order to “disrupt North Korea’s illicit funding of its unlawful nuclear and ballistic missile programs”.

OFAC has stated that the designations “target third-country persons with long-standing commercial ties to North Korea, as well as the transportation networks that facilitate North Korea’s revenue generation and operations”.

Eleven designations were issued pursuant to Executive Order 13810, which targets, among others, persons that operate in the North Korean transportation industry, as well as persons who have engaged in a significant importation from or exportation to North Korea. The remaining entities were sanctioned pursuant to Executive Order 13722, which targets, among others, persons involved in the exportation of workers from North Korea, including exportation to generate revenue for the Government of North Korea. See OFAC Notice here, and US Treasury press release here.

These designations come the day after President Donald Trump announced that the US would be placing North Korea back on its list of State Sponsors of Terrorism (North Korea was removed from the list in 2008).

Sudan pledges to sever ties with N Korea

Sudan1.jpgFollowing bilateral meetings in Khartoum with US Deputy Secretary of State Sullivan, the Sudanese Foreign Ministry has formally announced Sudan’s commitment to sever all trade and military ties with North Korea. Click here for the US Department of State press release.


Singapore’s N Korea prohibitions

Singapore Customs.pngWith effect from 8 November 2017, Singapore has prohibited  all commercially traded goods from or to the DPRK, whether they are imported, exported, transhipped or brought in transit through Singapore.

In relation to non-commercial transactions (e.g. personal or household effects) from or to the DPRK, the prohibition will apply to goods that are sanctioned under UN Security Council Resolutions 2371 (2017) and 2375 (2017) as published in the Regulation of Imports and Exports (Amendment No. 2) Regulations 2017 (also to take effect from 8 November 2017). Individuals who contravene any of the prohibitions are guilty of an offence. Click here for the circular notice issued by Singapore Customs.

EU implements expanded investment ban on North Korea and updates list of banned luxury goods

In October, the EU decided to expand its ban on EU investment in and with North Korea to all economic sectors and lower the amount of personnel remittances that can be sent to North Korea from EUR 15,000 to EUR 5,000. The EU has now published a new regulation to ensure uniform application of these new measures across the EU.

The Regulation also publishes a new list of luxury goods subject to an import and export ban, after the Council invited the EU Commission to review the existing list in consultation with member states.

See Council Regulation (EU) 2017/2062 amending Council Regulation (EU) 2017/1509.

US Senate committee approves Bill for further N Korea sanctions

US Flag2The US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs has unanimously approved the Otto Warmbier Banking Restrictions Involving North Korea Act of 2017 (a companion Bill was introduced in the US House of Representatives two-weeks ago, see previous blog here).

The newly-approved Bill makes provision for the Secretary of the Treasury to impose sanctions on a “foreign financial institution” that the Secretary determines to have “knowingly provide[d] significant financial services” to a designated person.

The Bill also expands the scope of mandatory designations under the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016, by requiring the US President to designate those who have (inter alia): (i) knowingly purchased or otherwise acquired “significant quantities” of coal, iron, or iron ore from North Korea; (ii) knowingly provided coal, iron, or iron ore to North Korea; (iii) knowingly purchased or otherwise acquired textiles from North Korea; (iv) knowingly facilitated a “significant transfer” of funds or property of the North Korean Government that “materially contributes” to any violation of an applicable UNSC resolution; (v) knowingly purchased or otherwise acquired “significant types or amounts” of seafood from North Korea; (vi) knowingly engaged, facilitated or was responsible for the exportation of workers from North Korea “in a manner intended to generate significant revenue” for the Government of North Korea; and (vii) knowingly sold or transferred vessels to North Korea (except where approved by the UNSC).

The Bill will now go to the US Senate for it to be voted on.