Today, the Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2094, strongly condemning North Korea’s highly provocative February 12 nuclear test and imposing significant new sanctions under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.
In her remarks at the Security Council Stakeout, Ambassador Susan Rice says the strength, breadth, and severity of these sanctions will raise the cost to North Korea of its illicit nuclear program and further constrain its ability to finance and source materials and technology for its ballistic missile, conventional, and nuclear weapons programs.
Resolution 2094 imposes tough new financial sanctions
According to Ms. Rice, when North Korea tries to move money to pay for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, countries must now block those transfers, even if the money is being carried in suitcases full of bulk cash.
Likewise North Korean banks will find it much harder to launder money for the DPRK nuclear program, she said.
“Today’s resolution also imposes new travel restrictions.” – Ms. Rice
She explains that if, for example, a North Korean agent is caught making arms deals or selling nuclear technology, countries will be required to expel that agent.
Countries must also now prevent the travel of people working for designated companies involved in the nuclear and missile programs, she added.
In addition, states will now have new authorities to inspect cargo and stop North Korean arms smuggling and proliferation.
If a country has cargo on its territory that might be carrying prohibitive items, like conventional arms or nuclear or ballistic materials, this resolution requires that the cargo be inspected, Ms. Rice explained.
She notes it will also make it harder for North Korean vessels to offload such prohibited cargo if a ship refuses inspection on the high seas, thus forcing it to return to its port of origin.
And airplanes carrying smuggled items can find themselves grounded, she added.
Resolution 2094 counter DPRK’s efforts in advancing nuclear activities
According to Ms. Rice, the resolution will also counter North Korean efforts to abuse diplomatic privileges to advance its nuclear and ballistic missile activities.
She says it will now be much harder for such diplomats to procure technology or divert funds to the nuclear program without being detected and expelled.
Resolution 2094 further bans the transfer to and from North Korea of specific ballistic missile, nuclear, and chemical weapons-related technology, Ms. Rice state.
In addiiton, it lists new prohibited items and calls on states to block any item at all that could contribute to these activities.
It also names additional North Koreans and North Korean companies whose assets will be frozen, and those individuals will also be subject to a travel ban.
This resolution lists a number of luxury goods that cannot be sold to North Korea as well.
“As a result, North Korea’s ruling elite who have been living large while impoverishing their people will pay a direct price for this nuclear test.” – Ms. Rice
Sanctions will bite hard DPRK
According to Ms. Rice, taken together, these sanctions will bite and bite hard.
The sanctions increase North Korea’s isolation and raise the cost to North Korea’s leaders of defying the international community, she added.
“The entire world stands united in our commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and in our demand that North Korea comply with its international obligations.” – Ms. Rice
If it does not, Ms. Rice points out that then the Security Council committed today, in this resolution, to take further significant measures if there is another nuclear test or missile launch.
“We regret that North Korea has again chosen the path of provocation instead of the path of peace.” – Ms. Rice
She highlighted that far from achieving its stated goal of becoming a strong and prosperous nation, North Korea has instead again opted to further impoverish its people and increase its isolation.
“We hope instead that North Korea will heed President Obama’s call to choose the path of peace and come into compliance with its international obligations.” – Ms. Rice
Will this resolution break the repeated pattern of sanction, provocation, sanction provocation byt DPRK?
According to Ms. Rice, the choice lies of course with the decisions that the North Korean leadership make.
“We have been very clear as an international community and as a Security Council that we are united in demanding that North Korea comply with its obligations or face increased pressure and isolation.” – Ms. Rice
She says with each successive provocation, that pressure is indeed increasing and substantially so.
“But the aim that we share is the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and to accomplish that through dialogue.” – Ms. Rice
She adds if North Korea finally, wisely make the decision in the interest of its own people and the interest of regional peace and security and its own security to in fact heed the opportunity to choose the path of peace and to take concrete steps to dismantle its nuclear program, then there is an opportunity for North Korea’s fate and future and that of its people to be much brighter.
US response to Pyongyang’s increased threats, escalated threats that North Korea would make a pre-emptive attack against the United States
Ms. Rice stresses that North Korea will achieve nothing by continued threats and provocations.
She says these will only further isolate the country and its people and undermine international efforts to promote peace and stability in Northeast Asia.
The US has urged the North Korean leadership repeatedly and continue to do so to heed President Obama’s call to choose a path of peace and to come into compliance with its international obligations.
“That is what North Korea ought to do.” – Ms. Rice
In June 2009, the United Nations unanimously adopted resolution 1874, imposing stricter sanctions on the recalcitrant regime.
The new resolution has 34 points, the first of which “Condemns in the strongest terms the nuclear test conducted by the DPRK on 25 May 2009 (local time) in violation and flagrant disregard of its relevant resolutions, in particular resolutions 1695 (2006) and 1718 (2006), and the statement of its President of 13 April 2009 (S/PRST/2009/7).”
Since the adoption of Resolution 1874, countries have intercepted and seized tons of contraband cargo, including a massive arms shipment uncovered by Thailand in December. These interdictions show that countries are taking seriously their obligations to enforce these tough new measures. The United States will continue to press on sanctions implementation until there is concrete, verifiable progress on denuclearization.
Advancing human rights is a top U.S. priority in US North Korea policy as well and is among the primary factors that will determine if any long-term improvement between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) will be possible.