North Korea

Initial Imposition of EU sanctions & Subsequent Amendments

EU sanctions were first imposed on North Korea in 2006, joining the UN in imposing measures in response to North Korea’s declaration that it had tested a nuclear explosive device.

EU sanctions, however, went beyond UNSC Resolution 1718 (2006) in extending its arms embargo to include the more extensive EU Common List of Military Equipment.

Further sanctions have been imposed in June 2009 in response to nuclear tests, with the EU once again broadening both the categories of persons and entities subject to asset freezes beyond the UN listing.

Another round of sanctions was imposed in response to the North Korean ballistic missile test of December 2012.

Further sanctions were imposed following North Korea’s nuclear test of September 2017.

UN Sanctions

UN sanctions are in place against North Korea, focusing on nuclear proliferation, which have provided the impetus of EU action.

Key UNSC Resolutions are 1718, 1874, 2087, 2094, 2270, 2321, 2356, 2371 and 2375.

Form of the Sanctions

Travel bans

Asset freezes

Arms and related material embargo

Export ban on luxury good

Export ban of textiles from North Korea

Coal and minerals ban

Fuel ban

Export ban of condensates and natural gas

Ban on all refined petroleum products

Restriction on the supply, sell, or transfer of crude oil

Seafood ban

Ban on North Korean workers abroad

Other bans: statues, new helicopters and vessels

Non-proliferation measure

Proliferation networks measure

Interdiction and transportation measure

Prohibition on provision of bunkering services

Financial measures

Requirement of specialised teaching and training

Suspension of scientific and technical cooperation

Criteria for Inclusion in Targeted Measures

Categories of individuals and entities targeted by the restrictive measures are:

Scientists and business leaders involved in the North Korean nuclear and/or ballistic missile projects.

North Korean financial institutions.

Political and military leaders associated with the nuclear and/or ballistic missile programmes.

EU Provisions in Force

Council Decision 2016/849/CFSP (OJ L 141, 28 May 2016) contains: export and import restrictions; restrictions on financial support for trade; restrictions on investment; measures on the financial and transport sectors; restrictions on admission and residence; freezing of funds and economic resources; and other restrictive measures

Amended by Council Decision 2017/1838/CFSP (OJ L 261, 11 October 2017) adopted measures to align EU with UNSC Resolution 2375 (2017)

Council Regulation (EU) 2017/1509 (OJ L 224, 31 August 2017) contains: export and import restrictions; restrictions on certain commercial activities; restrictions on transfers of funds and financial services; freezing of funds and economic resources; and restrictions on transport

Amended by Council Regulation (EU) 2017/1836 (OJ L 261, 11 October 2017) further prohibitions imposed

Case Law (all actions for annulment unless otherwise specified)

No case law applicable.


One thought on “North Korea

  1. You say in respect of the DPRK that “EU sanctions, however, went beyond UNSC Resolution 1718 in extending its arms embargo to conventional weapons as well as those that could be used in a nuclear weapons programme.”

    In fact UNSCR 1718, in its list of measures at 8(a)(i), explicitly embargoed large-scale conventional weapons including “any battle tanks, armoured combat vehicles, large calibre artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles or missile systems as defined for the purpose of the United Nations Register on Conventional Arms, …”

    Where EU sanctions went further than UN 1718 was to extend that list of conventional weapons to include the much broader and detailed EU Common List of Military Equipment. [ref. (EC) No. 329/2007, Article 3]


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