UN imposes new DPRK sanctions

Last Friday the UN Security Council imposed new sanctions on 18 DPRK officials and entities in response to North Korea’s most recent ballistic missile tests. The UN press release is here, and a link to the new resolution (2356 (2017)) is here.

The EU’s implementing measures (published today) are Commission Regulation 2017/970 amending Council Regulation 329/2007 and Council Decision 2017/975 implementing Council Decision 2016/849.

The sanctions subject listed people and entities to an asset freeze and travel ban in all UN countries.  Among those newly listed are Cho Il-U, said to be in charge of DPRK’s foreign espionage activities, the Vice Director of its Propaganda and Agitation department, and the Strategic Rocket Force of the Korean People’s Army, which is responsible for the country’s ballistic missile programmes.  The US representative to the UN Security Council, which sponsored the resolution, warned that the pressure on DPRK would not cease until it ended its illegal activities, and China’s representative expressed support for the “double strengthening” of the non-proliferation regime.

Separately, OFAC also designated 3 people and 6 entities said to be responsible for financing and supporting North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. The details are here.

UN Security Council threatens new sanctions on N Korea

The UN Security Council has condemned North Korea’s most recent ballistic missile test, and threatened to “take further significant measures including sanctions”.  In a statement, the Security Council demanded that North Korea fully comply with its obligations under the relevant UN resolutions, including immediately terminating its illegal ballistic missile and nuclear activities.

UN report finds evidence of widespread N Korea sanctions evasion

north-korea-1-pyongyangA new unpublished UN report is said to have found that North Korea is using a network of front companies to “[flout] sanctions through trade in prohibited goods, with evasion techniques that are increasing in scale, scope, and sophistication”.  The report also criticises Member States for lacking the “political will” to back up the tougher sanctions on North Korea that were introduced last year (see previous blog), failing to commit the resources necessary for their effective implementation.

Russia & China veto new UN sanctions on Syria

un-security-council-1Russia and China have vetoed a draft UN resolution put forward by the US, UK, and France that would have prohibited the sale of helicopters to Syria and sanctioned 11 Syrian commanders or officials and 10 entities linked to chemical weapon attacks in the country (see previous blog). Russian President Vladimir Putin described the draft resolution as “totally inappropriate”, and China said that while it opposed the use of chemical weapons it was too early to act as the international investigation into the attacks was ongoing. It is the 7th time Russia has vetoed a UN resolution on Syria, and the 6th time for China.

UN High Level Review of Sanctions

un-logo-1The ongoing  High Level Review of UN Sanctions (HLR) has asked for contributions in February 2017 from the private sector and state representatives in particular on the following proposals relating to benefits and costs of UN sanctions on businesses:

  1. Companies worldwide require clear and practical information about the objectives of UN sanctions.
  2. High implementation costs and non-transparent implementation requirements can impose high compliance costs on private sector actors.
  3. More  technical guidance is needed from the UN with  respect to steps companies should take to be compliant with all UN sanctions regimes.
  4. Companies require industry-specific, and geographically relevant information about commonly observed evasion strategies, and other deceptive means with which sanctions violators often implicate innocent private sector actors.
  5. Companies need to know about unfair competitive advantages and corrupt practices by sanctions violators and be protected against related costs and challenges from competitors operating from jurisdictions that tend to tolerate sanctions violations.

The high level review is open to observations on other concerns too, relating to UN sanctions.  Please email rico-carisch@comcapint.com for a briefing paper and information on ways to make contributions.

Britain and France suggest new UN sanctions on Syria

assad-1Britain and France are reported to be suggesting a UN Security Council resolution to prohibit countries from supplying the Syrian government with helicopters, and to impose targeted sanctions on 11 Syrian individuals and 10 entities said to be involved in chemical weapons attacks in Syria.  A draft resolution prepared by Britain and France follows a joint investigation by the UN and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which concluded that the Syrian government was responsible for at least 3 attacks involving chlorine gas. Russia has repeatedly questioned the investigation’s conclusions.

New UN sanctions on North Korea

un-security-council-1As foreshadowed earlier this week (see previous blog), the UN Security Council has now imposed new sanctions on North Korea (DPRK) in response to its nuclear test on 9 September 2016.

The new measures, contained in Resolution 2321, impose an annual cap on North Korean coal exports, reducing their volume by around 60%.  They also prohibit North Korean exports of copper, nickel, silver, zinc, and statues, and impose asset freezes and travel bans on 11 people and 10 entities for alleged ties to North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.  They also require Member States to limit North Korean diplomatic missions to one bank account each, in an effort to prevent North Korea from using them for illicit activities.

UN to impose new sanctions on N Korea

north-korean-soldier-1The 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council are meeting to approve new sanctions on North Korea, aimed at substantially cutting its revenue from exports.  Reports suggest that the new resolution could cut North Korea’s export revenue of $3bn by at least $800m, by capping exports of coal, helicopters, vessels, and statues.  The new sanctions, if confirmed, will also impose asset freezes and travel bans on 11 people and 10 entities for alleged roles in North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

China, a major importer of North Korean coal, is said to support the new sanctions, but Russia is not yet reported to have given them its backing.