Toughest Sanctions in 20 years For North Korea
In response to North Korea’s continued defiance to stop efforts to advance its weapons of mass destruction, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 2270 containing the toughest sanctions against the communist country.
The new resolution garnered strong support from the United States.
In fact, in his remarks in Washington DC, US Secretary of State John Kerry said he welcomes the unanimous adoption of UN Security Council resolution 2270 on North Korea. He said it reflects the strong and united resolve of the international community to address North Korea’s stubbornness to conduct nuclear tests and launch rockets.
“With this resolution we renew our collective resolve to take concerted action to counter this threat posed by North Korea’s proscribed programs and proliferation activities worldwide.” – Secretary Kerry
Strict Cargo Inspections, Ban of Coal Exports
According to Secretary Kerry, the sanctions include mandatory inspections of cargo leaving and entering North Korea by sea or air. Sales or transfers of small arms and light weapons to Pyongyang are banned as well.
In addition, the resolution also includes a ban the export of coal, iron and iron ore that are known to be used to fund North Korea’s nuclear or ballistic missile programs.
The banking sector of North Korea will also be affected. The draft resolution prohibits all countries from opening new branches, subsidiaries and representative offices of North Korean banks.
A major change from previous resolutions, the new resolution mandates all countries to close all North Korean banks and terminate all banking relationships within 90 days.
Hydrogen Bomb Test in January 2016
Earlier this year, North Korea, after reporting that it conducted a hydrogen bomb test, came under fire from around the world. The United States of America, its allies and even China expressed strong condemnation of the supposed nuclear test by the communist country.
North Korea’s state-run TV announced that the country successfully performed its first hydrogen bomb test at 10:00 am on January 6, 2016.
US On Denuclearizing North Korea
The United States remains committed to a denuclearized North Korea that respects the rights of its citizens.
In June 2009, the United Nations unanimously adopted resolution 1874, imposing stricter sanctions on the recalcitrant regime.
That 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 some 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.
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.
The US 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 missiles, conventional, and nuclear weapons programs.